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Cape Verde to name national stadium after Pelé

Featured image credit: Government of Cape Verde

The national stadium in Cape Verde will be renamed in honour of Pelé, the Brazilian football legend who passed away at the end of December.

The announcement from Prime Minister Dr Ulisses Correira e Silva comes after FIFA president Gianni Infantino asked all footballing nations to name one of their stadiums after the three-time World Cup winner.

Cape Verde’s 15,000-seat National Stadium, which is located in Monte Vaca on the island of Santiago, will feature Pelé’s name, the national government has announced. Silva said the venue would be known as ‘Pelé Stadium’ going forward.

Silva has informed FIFA of the move and it is hoped the name change can be implemented soon. The stadium opened in 2014 and serves as the home of the Cape Verde national team.

Silva added: “Pelé was and will always be a reference in Brazil, in our Portuguese-speaking world and in the rest of the world, being an idol that connects several generations.

“As a tribute and recognition to this figure who makes us all great, I manifest the intention (of the government) to name our National Stadium as ‘Pele Stadium’ in an initiative which, I believe, several countries around the world will accompany us.”

Pelé died on December 29 at 82 years old after a long illness, and his funeral took place on Tuesday.

Speaking ahead of the funeral, Infantino said: “We’re going to ask every country in the world to name one of their football stadiums with the name of Pelé.

“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.”