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April 9, 2021

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Rio drops Pele name plan

Rio de Janeiro abandoned plans to rename its famous Maracana Stadium in tribute to Pele yesterday after a widespread outcry from fans. The official proposal to give Pele’s name to the ground that hosted the final of the 2014 World Cup and the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Games was vetoed by state governor Claudio Castro. The Rio de Janeiro state legislature voted last month to call it the “King Pele Stadium,” but fans were angered at the removal of the stadium’s existing official name Mario Filho, after the journalist who lobbied for it to be built in the 1940s. Most Brazilians call the stadium simply the Maracana, after the neighborhood in which it is located. Pele, who turned 80 last year, played at the stadium many times for Brazil and scored his 1,000th goal there in 1969, for Santos against local club Vasco da Gama, but he was born in Minas Gerais state and lived in Sao Paulo state.




 

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