BRASILIA – Brazil’s senator and former football star Romario de Souza has announced he will run for election as governor of Rio de Janeiro in October.
The 1994 World Cup winner – known simply as Romario – says his campaign will focus on tackling violence and bankruptcy in the state.
“In these chaotic times, change is necessary, change is urgent… Rio always had safety problems, but never like now,” the 52-year-old said on Saturday while announcing his candidacy.
The soccer star said he will stand as a candidate for the centrist Podemos party. He has been praised as a senator for his battle against corruption in football.
Romario previously ran for mayor of Rio de Janeiro, but later backed out.
“I don’t have experience of being in charge. It will be, God willing, the first time that I’ve had the opportunity to demonstrate all I have learned in my life.”
The former Barcelona footballer is currently under investigation for allegedly concealing assets to avoid paying debts, according to reports in Brazilian media. He has denied the accusations.