FIFA President Gianni Infantino has proposed that each of the FIFA Member Associations name a stadium after the late football king Pelé. At a memorial service for the legendary Brazilian at the Santos FC’s Vila Belmiro stadium, Infantino paid his last respects to Pelé.
Ednaldo Rodrigues, President of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), and Alejandro Domnguez, President of CONMEBOL and a FIFA Vice-President, accompanied the FIFA President. President of Santos FC, Andrés Rueda, welcomed them. Santos FC was Pelé’s only team in Brazil and where he spent 18 years of his career.
On December 29, 2022, Pelé, the only player to win three FIFA World Cups, passed away at the age of 82, leaving football fans all over the world in mourning. The wake, which was scheduled to begin on Monday morning and last for 24 hours, saw thousands of fans form lines overnight outside the stadium.
In order for people to pay their respects, Pelé’s coffin was positioned in the middle of the pitch. His coffin will be carried in a procession through the streets of Santos on Tuesday before being buried in a private ceremony at the Ecumenical Memorial Necropolis cemetery.
“Pelé is eternal, the King is eternal, and we are here, with much emotion, with great sadness…but with also a smile, because he made all of us smile.” Gianni Infantino added.
Meanwhile, the FIFA President had requested that each of the 211 Member Associations around the world observe a minute of silence at each game in honor of Pelé. He also said that he would suggest that FIFA ask each MA to name at least one stadium after Pelé.
“I think the young people around the world, the future generations, have to know and remember who Pelé was, and the happiness he gave the world. In 20, 30, 50, or 100 years’ time, when goals are scored in the Pelé stadium in any country in the world, and people ask who he was, (they will hear) he was a great, great player who brought excitement to us all.”