Pele reveals health reasons will prevent him from lighting Olympic cauldron tonight

"Only God is more important than my health"

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Picture by: Odd Andersen / AP/Press Association Images

Brazil football legend Pele has confirmed that he will play no part in the lighting of the cauldron at tonight's 2016 Olympic Opening Ceremony in Rio.

The three-time World Cup winner has cited health reasons for being unable to take part in the ceremony.

The 75-year-old had been tipped for a central role in the festivities prior to his announcement.

"I'm not in physical condition to take part in the opening ceremony," said the former Santos and New York Cosmos in a statement.

"Only God is more important than my health. In my life, I've had fractures, surgeries, pain, hospital stays, victories and defeats. And I've always respected those who admire me."