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Guinea-Bissau renames stadium in honour of Pele

Brazil’s Pele is hoisted on shoulders of his teammates after Brazil won the ninth World Cup final against Italy, 4-1, in Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca, Mexico, on June 21, 1970. Pele, who scored the opening goal of the game and assisted two, wins his third winner’s medal. The World Cup victory is Brazil’s third win for the Jules Rimet Cup. (AP Photo)

The West African state of Guinea-Bissau has renamed a sports stadium in its second city Bafata “Pele Stadium” in honour of the late Brazilian football legend, the government announced on Friday.

The decision was made at a cabinet meeting after observing a minute’s silence in memory of Pele, who died on 29 December at age 82, the government said in a statement.

The regional stadium has a capacity of about 15, 000 seats.

Bafata is located about 150 kilometres east of the capital Bissau.

On Wednesday, Cape Verde’s prime minister announced that the stadium in its capital city, Praia, would also be renamed the “Pele Stadium”.

The two African countries made the name changes in response to a call by Fifa president Gianni Infantino for each member country of the world football association to name one of its stadiums after the star player.

Following Pele’s death, thousands of fans and football dignitaries gathered at the stadium of the Brazilian club Santos, where he had played from 1956 to 1974, to pay their respects.

Pele’s final resting place was a 200-square-metre (2 150-square-feet) mausoleum in Santos’ vertical cemetrey, where a huge crowd of fans paid tribute to him.

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