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Running a lax ship
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RIO DE JANEIRO, May 24 (AFP) - The head of Brazil's bid to win the 2006 World Cup has launched a scathing attack on Pele - accusing him of sabotaging their campaign.

Ricardo Teixeira, president of the Brazilian Football Confederationand a FIFA executive committee member, told the Brazilian press that Pele's opposition to Brazil had severly damaged the bid.

Texeira added that Germany was now favourite to host the 2006 World Cup.

Brazil, Germany, England, South Africa and Morocco are all locked in a multi-million dollar campaign to win the 2006 World Cup.

The 24-strong FIFA executive committee will decide this July on the winner.

Pele has been strongly opposed to Brazil's bid, claiming that the money would be better spent on social programmes to help the poor.

Teixeira and other members of the Brazilian bid committee including football greats Zico and Carlos Alberto have tried to win over Pele but he has refused to give his support.

Brazil had been hoping on the three votes from North America and the Caribbean (CONCACAF) to ensure getting past the first round but Teixeira admitted he now had doubts.

"We believe we have the CONCACAF votes but all that could change because of the Pele problem," said Teixeira.

England bid leaders admit that they must have the CONCACAF votes to survive the first round but Teixeira's comments suggest that at least one of the three will go to Germany instead of Brazil.
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