FIFA president Gianni Infantino said on Monday that world soccer's governing body will ask every single country with affiliation to name a stadium in honor of late legend Pelé as well as a minute of silence. The Brazilian great died last week at the age of 82 after battling cancer, and Infantino was attending Pelé's funeral on Monday.
"We are going to ask every country in the world to name one of their football stadiums with the name of Pelé," said Infantino to reporters in Sao Paulo. "I am here with a lot of emotion, sadness, but also with a smile because he gave us so many smiles. As FIFA, we will pay a tribute to the 'King' and we ask the whole world to observe a minute of silence."
Rio de Janeiro had previously planned to rename the iconic Maracana Stadium after Pelé but it was nixed by local government back in April of 2021. Pelé's coffin visited Vila Belmiro on Monday which is the home stadium of Santos FC -- his hometown club where he made history with the most appearances and goals ever.
A inspiração e o amor marcaram a jornada de Rei Pelé, que faleceu no dia de hoje.— Pelé (@Pele) December 29, 2022
Amor, amor e amor, para sempre.
Inspiration and love marked the journey of King Pelé, who peacefully passed away today.
Love, love and love, forever. pic.twitter.com/CP9syIdL3i
"For everyone who loves the beautiful game, this is the day we never wanted to come," read Infantino's statement immediately after the legend passed away. "The day we lost Pelé. He had a magnetic presence and, when you were with him, the rest of the world stopped. His life is about more than soccer. He changed perceptions for the better in Brazil, in South America and across the world. His legacy is impossible to summarize in words."
Mourners were able to pay their respects to Pelé at Vila Belmiro as part of a procession with his coffin decorated with Brazilian flags and his iconic No. 10 shirts for Santos and Brazil. Paris Saint-Germain and Selecao Brasileira star Neymar was one of many to send flowers.
Although the funeral took place on Monday, his burial will be on Tuesday. In addition to his three FIFA World Cup titles with Brazil and numerous records, he also helped to bring soccer to the U.S. when he joined New York Cosmos for a spell between 1975-77 at the end of his career.