Barely 48 hours after FIFA asked countries to name at least one stadium after late football legend Pele, Cape Verde has become the first country to comply.
Cape Verde’s Prime Minister, Dr. Ulisses Correira Silva, disclosed this on Wednesday in a statement via his Facebook Page.
He said the country’s national stadium in Praia will be named after world football icon.
The national stadium had in September 2021, hosted Nigeria vs Cape Verde in a World Cup qualifier.
Nigeria’s Super Eagles eventually won that encounter 2-1.
The 15,000 seater “Estadio Nacional de Cabo Verde”, erected in 2010 and opened in 2014 has been the home base of the “Blue Sharks” as Cape Verde’s national team is referred to.
Cape Verde’s Prime Minister while further explaining the rationale behind the country’s decision said it was a spinoff of the historical ties that it shares with Brazil.
He said, “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.
“And with the physical disappearance of Edson Arantes de Nascimento, King Pelé, born a Brazilian citizen, 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.
“Pelé was and always will be a reference in Brazil, in our Portuguese-speaking countries and in the rest of the world, being an idol that links several generations.
“As a tribute and recognition to this figure that makes us all great, I manifest the intention of naming our national stadium as “Pelé Stadium”, in an initiative that, I believe, will be followed by several countries around the world.”
FIFA’s president Gianni Infantino on monday urged member associations to rename a football facility in their respective countries after Pele who till date is the only player to have won three world cups.
The world’s football governing body has also renamed the football pitch in its headquarters “Estadio Pele- FIFA Zurich”.
Pele who died on Thursday December 29, 2022 was buried on Tuesday January 3, 2023.
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