Cape Verde names national stadium in honour of Pele following Infantino's request

by IANS |

New Delhi, Jan 5 (IANS) Cape Verde's national stadium is to be renamed after football legend Pele, the country's prime minister Ulisses Correira e Silva said.

The 15,000-seat Estadio Nacional de Cabo Verde will be called the 'Pele Stadium' in honour of the football legend who died due to cancer recently.

The African nation became the first country in the world to name a stadium after Pele following FIFA chief Gianni Infantino's request.

Pele, regarded as one of the best players of all time, passed away on December 29 at the Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He was 82.

Following Pele's death, Infantino paid tribute to the three-time World Cup winner at his memorial service and urged member associations to rename a football facility in their respective countries after Pele.

"As a tribute and recognition to this figure that makes us all great, I manifest the intention of naming our national stadium as 'Pele Stadium,' in an initiative that, I believe, will be followed by several countries around the world," Silva said in a statement posted on Facebook.

"With the physical disappearance of Edson Arantes de Nascimento, King Pele, who soon became a planetary figure, an icon of the masses showing that sport has the power to unite the world, it is now our wish to pay tribute to him.

"Cape Verde and Brazil have a history and culture that go hand in hand, considering they are two sister countries, linked by language and very similar identities.

"Pele was and always will be a reference in Brazil, in our Portuguese-speaking countries and the rest of the world, being an idol that links several generations," the statement added.

Pele won three World Cups with Brazil and 10 league titles with Santos, his club team, as well as the 1977 North American Soccer League championship with the New York Cosmos.

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