SAO PAULO (AP) — In the latest chapter of a spat between past Brazil football greats, Ronaldo is publicly criticizing former teammate Romario for making another attack on him, this time over an alleged broken promise to provide free tickets for people with disabilities during the World Cup.
Romario, now an outspoken lawmaker, is blaming Ronaldo for making the promise and not coming through with it. Ronaldo, a member of the local World Cup organizing committee, says it was the Brazilian football federation that failed to fulfill their pledge.
Ronaldo on Monday lamented another attack by his former teammate, saying it's not clear why Romario continues to take shots at him.
"It's lamentable to see Romario once again coming out to publicly say that I'm responsible for things that are out of my hands," Ronaldo said in a statement published on his social media accounts. "Opportunism or ignorance, I don't know. What I do know is that instead of wasting time and energy trying to disparage me, the congressman should dedicate himself to challenging the right people/institutions. We would all benefit from that."
Ronaldo said the promise to donate 32,000 World Cup tickets to people with disabilities was made by the Brazilian football federation, not by him.
"I'm not a politician, I don't represent (the federation), I don't promise what I can't fulfill," Ronaldo said, adding that he is sure that Romario knows the promise was made by the entity and not by him.
On Friday, Romario posted a photo where he is standing by Ronaldo after a press conference held to announce the free tickets at the federation's headquarters three years ago. He wrote: "This photo was taken in 2011, when Ronaldo publicly promised the tickets for people with disabilities. So far, nothing!!!"