Wednesday 04 January 2023, 16:05

Cabo Verde set to name Estádio Nacional after Pelé

  • Prime Minister José Ulisses Correia e Silva announced the proposal

  • Stadium in Praia would be named "Estádio Pelé"

  • FIFA President thanks Cabo Verde for pioneering gesture

The Prime Minister of Cabo Verde, José Ulisses Correia e Silva, has said that his government plans to name the country's "Estádio Nacional" after Pelé, making his nation the first to announce such an initiative. His announcement followed Gianni Infantino’s recent suggestion that each of FIFA's 211 member associations name at least one stadium or football venue in their country after the Brazilian legend, who passed away on 29 December at the age of 82. "Pelé was and will always be somebody everyone looks up to, in Brazil, in the Lusophone countries and the rest of the world, being an icon who connects several generations," said Mr Correia e Silva, adding that Pelé had shown that “sport has the power to unite the world.” "As a tribute and recognition of this great figure, who ennobles us all, I express our intention to name our national stadium the "Estádio Pelé", in an initiative which, I believe, will be followed by several countries around the world." The 15,000-capacity stadium, situated in the country’s capital Praia, was opened in 2014. FIFA President Gianni Infantino expressed his gratitude for the initiative. “Thank you very much, Cabo Verde! I would like to thank the Prime Minister, José Ulisses Correia e Silva, the Minister of Sports, Carlos do Canto Monteiro, and the Cabo Verde Football Federation in the person of its President, Mário Semedo, for the fact that Cabo Verde has announced its intention to name the Estádio Nacional after Pelé.” “This pioneering gesture dignifies the country and honours the memory of Pelé. I hope that more stadiums and football venues around the world will also join in this global tribute. Long live the King!” Gianni Infantino made his suggestion while attending a memorial for Pelé in Santos, Brazil, on 2 January. He said it would ensure that future generations around the world would know about Pelé and what he did for football. FIFA has already decided to name the pitch at the Home of FIFA "Estádio Pelé – FIFA Zürich".