FIFA boss wants stadium named in Pelé’s honour in each country
A banner of Brazilian football star Pele that reads in Portuguese "Eternal" decorates the Brazilian Soccer Confederation building in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, Sunday, January 1, 2023, three days after he died in São Paulo at the age of 82. (AP Photo/Bruna Prado)

SAO PAULO, Brazil, (CMC) – FIFA President Gianni Infantino wants every country to name a stadium after the late Brazilian football great, Pelé.

The president of football’s governing body told reporters in Sao Paulo on Monday, a day before Pelé’s funeral on Tuesday, “We’re going to ask every country in the world to name one of their football stadiums with the name of Pelé.”

In April 2021, plans which were made to honour Pelé, whose real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, by naming Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana Stadium after him, were vetoed by the state governor at the time.

Pelé, one of the greatest footballers of all time, died on Thursday, December 29 at the age of 82 after battling with colon cancer since September 2021.

“I am here with a lot of emotion, sadness, but also with a smile because he gave us so many smiles. As FIFA, we will pay a tribute to the ‘King’ and we ask the whole world to observe a minute of silence,” Infantino also said on Monday as thousands of mourners gathered at Pelé’s former club, Santos where the Brazilian legend was lying in state at the start of three days of national mourning.

“Pele is eternal. He’s a global icon of football.”

Pelé won three FIFA World Cups – the only player to ever do so – and scored over 1,000 goals throughout his career.

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