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FIFA inaugurates stadium in Rwanda to honor Brazilian football legend Pele

FIFA inaugurates stadium in Rwanda to honor Brazilian football legend Pele
Kigali Pele Stadium opened before Rwanda hosts 73rd FIFA congress on Thursday

By Can Erozden

ANKARA (AA) – FIFA on Wednesday inaugurated a stadium in Rwanda to honor Brazilian football legend Pele, who died in December.

"President Kagame and First Lady Jeannette Kagame today attended the unveiling of the newly named Kigali Pele Stadium. President Kagame also joined FIFA President Gianni Infantino for the Football Delegation Tournament on the sidelines of the 73rd FIFA Congress," Rwandan President Paul Kagame said on Instagram.

Kagame and FIFA chief Infantino played football in different teams against each other at the newly inaugurated stadium that was opened a day before Rwanda hosted the FIFA congress on Thursday.

FIFA said in a statement that the Rwandan government funded to renovate the stadium, but FIFA "contributed funding for the upgrade of a brand-new pitch."

On Thursday, Infantino was reelected unopposed as president of FIFA until 2027 at the 73rd congress of the world football's governing body in Kigali, Rwanda.

The stadium in Kigali was named after Pele to honor the legend, as the FIFA president in January asked all the member associations to name at least one stadium after the Brazilian football icon's death.

Nicknamed "the Black Pearl," former Brazil forward Pele died on Dec. 29 at age 82 after a long battle with cancer.

Seen as the greatest player of all time and named once by FIFA as "the greatest player of the 20th century," Pele was the quintessential football model for generations of fans and players who followed him.

He helped Brazil win three FIFA World Cups in 1958, 1962 and 1970.

He won 10 state and six league titles, two Libertadores Cups and is in the Guinness Book of Records for scoring 1,279 goals in 1,363 matches.

source: News Feed
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