Gianni Infantino, the president of FIFA, announced at Pele’s funeral on Monday that every nation in the globe will be asked to name a stadium after the legendary Brazilian football player.
Infantino went in the Brazilian city of Santos on Thursday to pay his respects to the deceased footballer largely regarded as the greatest of all time.
“We’re going to urge every country in the world to name one of their football stadiums after Pele,” Infantino told journalists at the Vila Belmiro, the stadium where “The King” originally blasted onto the world stage with his exploits for Santos FC.
Also see: “Our greatest idol”: Brazilians swarm to hospitals following the death of Pele.
Infantino, together with the heads of the South American and Brazilian football confederations, was among the first to pay respects before Pele’s open casket, which was exhibited in the middle of the field at Vila Belmiro stadium during the 24-hour wake.
“We’re here with a heavy heart,” Infantino stated. “Pele is eternal. He is a global football icon.”
Also see: Pele’s defining moments in soccer.
Friday, the flags of the world were flown at half-mast outside FIFA’s headquarters in Zurich to honor Pele, whom the organization has deemed the greatest player of the 20th century.
Pele, the first player in history to win three World Cups, passed away after a protracted battle with cancer at a Sao Paulo hospital.