Romario's comments about Pat Hickey four years ago could have had a big influence on his arrest 6 years ago

Romario's comments about Pat Hickey four years ago could have had a big influence on his arrest

We knew Romario was good, but we had no idea he was this good.

The scorer of more than 500 goals for the likes of Brazil, PSV, Barcelona, Valencia and Vasco da Gama during a glittering career, the abrasive footballer has enjoyed a hugely successful second career as an abrasive politician.

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Once adept at getting under the skin of defenders, the 50-year-old Brazilian Senator is now an expert at skewering those who like to keep the power and the wealth of his home country in the hands of the few.

As many of Brazil's poor and disenfranchised railed against the massive sums being spent on hosting the 2014 World Cup and the ongoing Rio Olympic Games, the then Rio de Janeiro deputy put several sports administrator through the wringer.

Many of those he accused of corruption and malpractice have subsequently come a cropper - the likes of disgraced Fifa president Sepp Blatter and his former secretary general Jerome Valcke.

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Now a third target of Romario's rage - Olympic Council of Ireland and European Olympic Council president Pat Hickey - has been arrested and charged with ticket-touting, forming a cartel and illicit marketing.

The fraud squad of Rio police launched an investigation into the illegal touting of tickets via corporate hospitality packages, which echoes eerily with a statement Romario wrote on his website FOUR years ago.

“Everyone knows of my concern to ensure all citizens access to the games of the World Cup and the Olympics. Therefore, some information concern me much,” he said.

“It was reported in England that Mr Hickey granted the allocation of tickets for Ireland’s Olympic Games in London to a private company that, in turn, created ticket packages with lodging geared toward wealthier clientele," added Romario.

“Here in Brazil will tickets for the Games be luxurious goods, and the middle-class, the poor, can only attend competitions on TV?” 

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While the 1994 World Cup winner will presumably have an opinion on Hickey's arrest, he will surely be distraught at the number of empty seats in the Olympic venues, which would surely have been snapped up by locals if they had been priced more reasonably.

If he feels like commenting on Hickey he has at least thus far resisted the urge to do so on Twitter - limiting himself to posts in support of Brazilian athletes, including the football team.

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