Sunday 04 June 2023, 13:00

Palestine name pitch in honour of Pelé

  • Palestine take up FIFA President’s suggestion to name pitch after Pelé

  • Pitch near Bethlehem now known as Pelé International Stadium Al-Khader

  • Growing number of member associations have followed FIFA’s lead

Palestine has joined the growing band of FIFA member associations to have taken up the suggestion of FIFA President Gianni Infantino to name a pitch in honour of the late Brazilian legend Pelé.

A pitch in the town of Al-Khader near Bethlehem in the West Bank will now be known as Pelé International Stadium Al-Khader following a ceremony attended by Palestine Football Association President Jibril Alrjoub, Qatar Football Association President HE Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Bin Ahmed Al Thani, President of the Jordan Football Association H.R.H. Prince Ali ben Al-Hussein, and FIFA Council and Confederation of African Football Executive Committee member Hany Abo Rida.

“I am delighted to see Palestine has named a stadium in Bethlehem in honour of King Pelé.,” said Mr. Infantino, who had aired the idea of all FIFA’s 211 member associations doing so following Pelé’s death on 29 December 2022, aged 82.

“What he did on the pitch, as well as off it, touched the lives of many millions of people around the world, and it is a fitting tribute to that legacy that we are now seeing more and more pitches – the place where he brought so much joy to so many – being named in his honour."

To this day, Pelé remains the only player in football history to win three FIFA World Cup titles. FIFA set the example by christening the pitch at FIFA headquarters the ‘Estádio Pelé – FIFA Zürich’ on 3 January 2023.

Palestine is now one of those to have followed that lead along with the Maldives, Cabo Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Rwanda, Colombia, Kazakhstan and Panama.