The country's prime minister announced the move to honor the late Brazilian sports star as the world mourns his immeasurable influence.
Last week, Afro-Brazilian soccer legend Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known professionally as Pelé, passed away at the age of 82. And the world of sports and its fans were made to bid farewell to arguably the most decorated soccer player in our lifetime. African nation Cabo Verde is doing their part to honor the soccer legend. This week, the island's prime minister Dr. Jose Ulisses Correia e Silva announced that they will be renaming their national stadium in honor of the late, greats' contribution to the sport.
This comes shortly after Fifa's president Gianna Infantino's announcement that the governing body would ask every participating country to rename a stadium after the Brazilian star. Though the ask is not official yet, Cape Verde becomes the first African country to honor Fifa's proposal. The country's 15-000 seater Estadio Nacional de Cabo Verde first opened in 2014 and is set to take on the name "Pelé Stadium" in the foreseeable future according to the Prime Minister.
Taking to his Facebook page, Silva said, "As a tribute and recognition to this figure that makes us all great, I manifest the intention of naming our national stadium as "Estadio Pele", in an initiative that, I believe, will be followed by several countries around the world ... Cape Verde and Brazil have a history and culture that go hand in hand, considering they are two sister countries, linked by language and very similar identities."
Cape Verde's own team the "Blue Sharks" have never qualified for a FIFA World Cup. Let's hope the stadium's name-change brings out the spirit of Pelé and rubs off on them.