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   21 May, 2002 | 2050 IST


Brazil get cracking

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Rivaldo's peace message stopped

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Rivaldo's plans to send a message for world peace have been scuppered by FIFA's clampdown on goal celebrations, the Brazil striker said on Wednesday.

The player, who has been battling to overcome a knee injury, said he had intended to reveal a message-bearing tee-shirt underneath his Brazil shirt when celebrating a goal -- a trend that has become increasingly popular with players.

But with the games's governing body instructing referees to book players for such displays, Rivaldo has promised to keep his messages covered up.

Rivaldo"I have to respect the opinion of FIFA, so I won't do it because I don't want to get a yellow card and spoil our team's chances," said the Barcelona striker.

"Of course, you can get across a positive message, a message for peace in the world.

"All the games involving Brazil are shown across the world, so of course it's a good chance to send a message of peace, especially with the situation the world is in at the moment."

However, Rivaldo says winning his country's fifth World Cup would be a perfect way to help many Brazilians briefly forget their daily grind of poverty, violence and injustice.

"It makes me sad, the war (in Afghanistan) and the situation in Brazil, where there is hunger and poverty," he said.

"A World Cup is important and we know that if we win the title we could bring a little happiness to the people of Brazil, so we will play with all our hearts to try and win the title we missed out on in France.

Rivaldo, who missed the end of the Spanish season because of a troublesome right knee, said he is no longer feeling any pain and was ready to play in Saturday's friendly against Malaysia.

Brazil are spending a week in Malaysia before travelling to South Korea, where they kick-off their campaign against Turkey on June 3.

In group C they will also play China and Costa Rica.

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