FIFA want countries to name stadia after Pelé



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FIFA wants stadiums to be named after Pele Image: Santos FC (Twitter)

FIFA President Gianni Infantino said that the world soccer’s governing body will ask every single country with affiliation to name a stadium in honor of the Late soccer legend Pelé as well as a minute of silence. The Brazilian great passed away on December 29th, 2022 at the age of 82 after battling cancer, and Infantino was attending Pelé’s funeral on January 2nd which took place in Santos, State of São Paulo, Brazil.

‘cbssports.com’ quoted Infantino as telling newsmen in São Paulo, Brazil, “We are going to ask every country in the world to name one of their football stadiums after Pelé. 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.”

Zürich, Switzerland-based FIFA is the international governing body of association football, beach football and futsal. It was founded in 1904 to oversee international competition among the national associations of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known mononymously by his nickname Pelé, was a Brazilian professional footballer who played as a forward. Regarded as one of the greatest players of all time and labeled “the greatest” by FIFA, he was among the most successful and popular sports figures of the 20th century.

‘cbssports.com’ stated that Rio de Janeiro had previously planned to rename the iconic 78,838-capacity Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, after Pelé but it was nixed by the local Government back in April of 2021. Pelé’s coffin visited the 16,068-capacity Vila Belmiro Stadium on January 2nd in Santos, São Paulo, which is the home stadium of the Brazilian sports club Santos FC – the ‘King’s’ hometown club where he made history with the most appearances and goals ever.

Read Infantino’s statement immediately after the legend passed away, “For everyone who loves the beautiful game, this is the day we never wanted to come. The day we lost Pelé. He had a magnetic presence and, when you were with him, the rest of the world stopped. His life is about more than soccer. He changed perceptions for the better in Brazil, in South America and across the world. His legacy is impossible to summarize in words.”

Mourners were able to pay their respects to Pelé at Vila Belmiro as part of a procession with his coffin decorated with Brazilian flags and his iconic No. 10 shirts for Santos and Brazil. The Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain F.C. (France) and Seleção Brasileira (Brazil national football team) star Neymar was one of many to send flowers.

Although the funeral took place on January 2nd, his burial took place on January 3rd. In addition to his three FIFA World Cup™ titles with Brazil and numerous records, he also helped to bring soccer to the United States when the soccer legend joined the American professional soccer club New York Cosmos for a spell between 1975-1977 at the end of his career.

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