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Columbia, Guinea Bissau to Name Stadiums after Pele

The suggestion made by FIFA President Gianni Infantino to the member associations to give Pele’s memory at least one stadium or football venue in their countries continues to bear fruit.

Guinea Bissau and Columbia followed Cape Verde’s lead and are set to rename their stadiums after Pele.

The Estádio da Rocha stadium in the town of Bafatá will be named after Pelé, the Guinea-Bissau government announced on January 5th.

The decision was made during a session of the Council of Ministers, headed by President Umaro Sissoco Embaló.

“As an expression of the public recognition of his status as the king of world football, the Council of Ministers has decided that the regional stadium of Bafatá will be given the name “Rei Pelé” in response to the appeal from the FIFA President,” the statement said.

In Colombia, the Bello Horizonte stadium in the Colombian city of Villavicencio is to be named after the Brazilian icon.

The stadium underwent recent modernization after being constructed in 1958.

The decision was announced by Juan Guillermo Zuluaga, the governor of the Meta department where Villavicencio is located.

“From the Colombian plains, we announce to the world that our wonderful stadium in Villavicencio will be called Bello Horizonte “Rey Pelé”,” Zuluaga said.

“The future generations should know who this icon of world football was. We have accepted FIFA’s suggestion.”

Both member associations have received thanks from FIFA President Gianni Infantino for the initiative, which came after Cabo Verde’s government declared the previous day that it intended to rename its Estádio Nacional after Pelé, who passed away on December 29.

“Thank you, Juan Guillermo Zuluaga, and the government of the Meta department, for this beautiful tribute to the eternal King Pelé,” he said.

“My deepest gratitude goes to President Umaro Sissoco Embaló, the government of Guinea-Bissau, and the Bissau-Guinean Football Federation for honoring the memory of the eternal king by renaming the Estádio da Rocha in Bafatá as the Pelé Stadium,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino.


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