'Going to ask all countries to have one stadium with the name of Pele' - FIFA President Gianni Infantino
Pele has passed away, while Brazil is paying its final tributes to him in a 24-hour public wake ceremony before his funeral on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Gianni Infantino will ask every nation to have a stadium in the name of the great Brazilian.
Legendary former three-time FIFA World Cup Brazilian winner Pele passed away last week following his year-long battle with cancer. On Monday, his body was released from the Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital in Sao Paulo. It was carried to the Vila Belmiro Stadium, the home ground of his famous Brazilian club Santos, where he would be put on a 24-hour public wake before his funeral on Tuesday. FIFA President Gianni Infantino was also in attendance during the public wake on Monday and stated that he would ask every nation to have a stadium in the name of the great Brazilian, reports FotMob.
Articulating to reporters on Monday, Infantino communicated, "We are going to ask that all countries in the world have at least one stadium with the name of Pele. [This will be] so that children know Pele's importance [to the game of football]." It won't be the first time a venue would be named after a football personality, with examples such as Puskas Arena in Budapest and Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam.
However, naming a stadium outside a native name has not been a regular practice, but it won't be implausible. One such instance is Italian giant Napoli renaming its venue to Stadio Diego Armando Maradona in memory of the legendary Argentine Diego Maradona. Also, the Gwangju World Cup Stadium was later named in honour of Guus Hiddink for taking the nation to a fourth-place finish during the WC 2022.