Italian Serie A football team Napoli is considering naming its stadium after club legend Diego Maradona, who died yesterday (Wednesday) at the age of 60.
Last night, the lights remained on at Napoli’s Stadio San Paolo in tribute to Maradona as Naples mourned the man that delivered the club two Serie A titles during a memorable seven-year spell from 1984 to 1991.
Mayor of Naples Luigi de Magistris tweeted yesterday that the San Paolo should be renamed after Maradona, who also led Argentina to FIFA World Cup glory in 1986. The move would require an exemption to a law that states a street or building can only be renamed after someone after 10 years have passed since their death.
Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentis has said that the renaming of the stadium will be considered. Posting on her Facebook page yesterday, Laura Bismuto, president of the Toponomy Commission of the Naples City Council, said that steps are being taken to carry out the name change.
Bismuto said: “As president of the Toponymy Commission, I have the pleasure and honour to announce to the city that, in consultation with the mayor and the councillor for Toponymy Alessandra Clemente, having heard the case for the derogation from the 10-year rule, we decided to name the stadium of the city of Naples after Diego Armando Maradona.”
Bismuto added that a commission will be called on Monday to formalise the proposal.
Stadio San Paolo opened in 1959 and has a current capacity of 54,000. The stadium was one of the host venues during the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy and staged the semi-final between the host nation and Maradona’s Argentina.
Maradona died yesterday following a heart attack, having undergone brain surgery earlier this month. Although the surgery was successful, Maradona was reportedly suffering due to withdrawal from his alcohol addiction.
Argentina President Alberto Fernández has declared three days of national mourning following Maradona’s passing, while wreaths and candles were placed outside the San Paolo yesterday as fans paid tribute.
Image: Tarkus42/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size