Brazil great Rivaldo has urged tourists not to travel to Rio de Janeiro for the Olympic Games because of the risk violence.
The former FIFA World Player of the Year posted a warning on Instagram and alluded to the death of a 17-year-old woman, who is reported to have been killed in a shoot-out in the city at the weekend.
“Things are getting uglier here every day,” the ex-Barcelona star wrote. “I advise everyone with plans to visit Brazil for the Olympics in Rio to stay home.
“You’ll be putting your life at risk here. This is without even speaking about the state of public hospitals and all the Brazilian political mess. Only God can change the situation in our Brazil.”
Preparation for the Olympics, which get under way in less than three months, have been hampered by a number of concerns raised over the suitability of the host city.
Amnesty International claimed in a statement that 11 people were killed in police confrontations in Rio’s impoverished favelas just last month. A total of 307 were killed by police last year, the group said.
Concerns over water pollution and the spread of the Zika virus have prompted further worries for tournament organisers, with the nation’s economic recession and the turbulence of Dilma Rousseff’s presidency adding to those anxieties.