Cape Verde’s national stadium, Estadio Nacional de Cabo Verde is to be renamed after Pele, according to the country’s Prime Minister Ulisses Correira e Silva. The 15,000-seater, located just outside the capital Praia, will now become the Pele Stadium.
Cape Verde is the first country to name its stadium after Pele since the news comes after Fifa’s president Gianna Infantino proposed – while speaking at Pele’s memorial service in Santos, Brazil – that every country should name a stadium after the footballing legend who died on 29 December, aged 82.
“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,” Ulisses Correira e Silva, Prime Minister of Cape Verde wrote 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,” added Mr Silva in a statement that stressed the importance of Pele to Portuguese-speaking countries like Cape Verde.
“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 in the rest of the world, being an idol that links several generations.”