FIFA to ask EVERY country to name a stadium after Pele
Gianni Infantino has revealed FIFA will ask every country in the world to name a football stadium after Pele.
Tributes have flooded in from the world of sport and beyond following the Brazilian icon’s death at the age of 82 last week after a long battle with cancer.
Pele’s coffin was on Monday brought to Estadio Vila Belmiro, the home of Santos, ahead of his funeral so fans could pay their respects. Thousands queued for hours to get into the stadium.
Infantino is one of those who has flown to Brazil to attend the funeral, and the FIFA president told reporters of his idea to pay tribute to one of the greatest players of all time.
“We are going to ask that all countries in the world have at least one stadium with the name of Pele,” he said.
Plans to rename the famous Maracana after Pele were abandoned last year, despite the Rio de Janeiro state legislature voting in favour of the change, after the state governor vetoed it following fan outcry.
Infantino paid his own tribute to the Brazilian last week, describing his legacy as one that was “impossible” to put into words.
He wrote: “For everyone who loves the beautiful game, this is the day we never wanted to come. The day we lost Pele.
“Pele had a magnetic presence and, when you were with him, the rest of the world stopped. His life is about more than football.
“He changed perceptions for the better in Brazil, in South America and across the world. His legacy is impossible to summarise in words.
“Today, we all mourn the loss of the physical presence of our dear Pele, but he achieved immortality a long time ago and therefore he will be with us for eternity.”
A three-day period of mourning was announced in Brazil following Pele’s death, with a parade set to take place through the streets of Sao Paulo on Tuesday.