Rwanda Inaugurates the Kigali Pelé Stadium
Rwanda has become the latest FIFA member association to name a stadium after Pelé, following his passing in December 2022.
Dubbed the “Kigali Pele Stadium,” it was inaugurated on March 15, by FIFA President Gianni Infantino and President Paul Kagame when over 2,000 delegates from all 211 member associations traveled to Kigali for the 73rd FIFA Congress.
The newly named ‘Kigali Pelé Stadium’, according to FIFA, has recently undergone a large-scale renovation project. The work on the stadium itself was funded by the government of Rwanda, while FIFA contributed funding for the upgrade of a brand-new pitch.
“I would like, sincerely, to thank you from the bottom of my heart that we are currently here in this beautiful stadium, which is, as we see, the name of the Kigali Pelé Stadium,” the FIFA President said.
President Infantino praised the work carried out by President Kagame and his government.
“I have been in this stadium some years ago, and the transformation of the stadium is incredible,” the FIFA President continued. “I know there are many more projects here in Rwanda to boost football and to develop football.
Rwanda follows the examples of Panama, Colombia, Cape Verde, and Guinea-Bissau in taking up President Infantino’s call to recognize the game’s first true global icon. In January 2023, FIFA also announced that the Home of FIFA football pitch is to be named after Pelé.