Plans to rename Maracana Stadium after Pele are SCRAPPED

Plans to rename the iconic Maracana Stadium after Pele are SCRAPPED after backlash in Brazil… with the iconic forward having never even lived in Rio de Janeiro

  • The 78,000 capacity Maracana stadium hosted the 2014 World Cup final in Brazil
  • A proposal to rename the ground ‘King Pepe Stadium’ was pushed through 
  • However, fan backlash – as Pele never lived in the state- has seen it scrapped 

Rio de Janeiro abandoned plans to rename its famous Maracana Stadium in tribute to Pele on Thursday 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.

Rio de Janeiro had planned to rename it’s iconic Maracana Stadium after the legendary Pele

The city has now reversed its plans, with fans upset as the Brazilian never lived in the region 

The stadium is an iconic landmark in Rio de Janeiro and fans want to keep the original name 

Most Brazilians call the stadium simply the Maracana, after the neighbourhood in which it is located.

Many critics of the name change also considered it inappropriate to rename the iconic Rio landmark after a player who never lived in the state.

Castro vetoed the change after the state legislator who made the proposal withdrew his support because of the outcry.

Pele scored at the arena (pictured) but it was seen as inappropriate to name it in his honour 

The Maracana Stadium  hosted the 2014 World Cup final which saw Germany beat Argentina 

Among those who lined up against the project were Gerson, Pele’s team mate in the 1970 World Cup-winning side, and Mario Filhoâs grandson. Gerson called the idea ‘absurd’.

Pele, who turned 80 last year, played at the stadium many times for Brazil and scored his 1000th goal there in 1969, for Santos against local club Vasco da Gama, but he was born in Minas Gerais state and lived most of his life in Sao Paulo state.

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