FIFA to ask all countries to name a stadium for Pele: Gianni Infantino

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FIFA will ask countries around the world to name a stadium after Brazilian legend Pele, the head of the sport’s governing body, Gianni Infantino, said on Monday at the late icon’s wake.

Infantino was in the Brazilian city of Santos to pay his last respects to the player widely regarded as the greatest of all time, who died on Thursday at the age of 82.

“We are going to ask every country in the world to name one of its football stadiums after Pelé,” Infantino told reporters at the Villa Belmiro stadium. platform with his exploits for his longtime club Santos FC.

Participating in a 24-hour vigil with the heads of the South American and Brazilian football federations, Infantino was among the first to pay tribute in front of Pelé’s open casket, which was displayed in the middle of the field at the Vila Belmiro stadium.

“We are here with great sadness,” said Infantino. “Pelé is eternal. He is a global icon of football.”

A 24-hour wake will be followed by a funeral procession through the streets of Santos on Tuesday, including passing the home of Pele’s mother, 100-year-old Celeste Arantes, who is still alive.

The procession will end at the Memorial Cemetery of Santos, where Pele will be buried in a special mausoleum.

FIFA flew world flags at half-mast outside its headquarters in Zurich on Friday in honor of Pele, who has been named by the organization as the greatest player of the 20th century.

Pele, the only player in history to win three World Cups, died in a Sao Paulo hospital after a long battle with cancer.

Monday’s vigil will be followed by a funeral procession through the streets of Santos on Tuesday, then a private burial ceremony.

Brazil begins paying last respects to Pele

An emotional Brazil on Monday began paying its last respects to football legend Pele by waking him at the stadium where he first wowed the world with his dazzling skills.

Thousands of fans and footballing dignitaries, including FIFA president Gianni Infantino, slowly entered through the Villa Belmiro of Pelé’s longtime club, Santos, where the casket containing the remains of “O Rei” (The King) lay in the center of the field. was displayed.

Since his death, tributes have poured in from around the world, with a who’s who of current and former footballing greats praising his talent for “the beautiful game”.

A stream of athletes, politicians, dignitaries and fans are expected at Santos for his wake, although the turnout could be somewhat subdued over the New Year holiday weekend.

Pele’s coffin was carried into the stadium by pallbearers dressed in black, led by his son Edinho. The late icon’s widow, Marcia Sibel Aoki, the third wife he married in 2016, wept in front of his open casket as she reached out to touch his head.

The coffin was surrounded by white flowers, including signed bouquets with names ranging from Real Madrid to current Brazil star Neymar, whose father was in attendance.

Three giant flags were displayed in the black-and-white stadium, one of which featured a picture of Pele wearing the famous number 10 jersey.

Another message read “Long Live the King”; The third said simply, “Pele 82.”

The text of this story is published from a wire agency feed without any modification.

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