The president of Leones Negros says the Mexican second-tier club’s home stadium, the Estadio Jalisco, won’t be renamed in honour of Brazil legend Pelé, who passed away at the age of 82 late last month.
In the wake of Pelé’s death, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said on Monday that world football’s governing body will ask every country across the globe to name a stadium after the striker.
“It’s important that children 20 years, 50 years, 100 years from now, they remember who Pelé was,” Infantino told ITV. “He was the first in many things. We need to remember him in a field, in a stadium where goals are being scored, where emotions are being felt, because that’s exactly the skill that Pelé had. A gift of God to gift people with emotions.”
In Pele’s home city Santos, FIFA President Gianni Infantino tells me why he wants every nation on earth to name a football stadium after the Brazilian icon. #Pele pic.twitter.com/2ICZNIQToj
— Steve Scott (@stevescott_itv) January 2, 2023
“I’m not so sure about naming the Estadio Jalisco after him”
Guadalajara’s Estadio Jalisco hosted all but one of Brazil’s games as Pelé led the Seleçao to victory at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico, but Leones Negros chief Alberto Castellanos has said in an interview in the Mexican media that there are no plans in the Jalisco state capital to accede to Infantino’s wishes.
“I saw what Gianni Infantino said, but it’s not something that’s been discussed by the members of Clubes Unidos [the association of Guadalajara-based clubs who play at the Estadio Jalisco],” Castellanos told Cancha on Tuesday.
“I think Pelé is a great of the global game, and for many he is the best player of all time. But I’m not so sure about naming the Estadio Jalisco after him purely because he played here at World Cup ‘70.”
Pelé celebrates after victory in the 1970 World Cup final – the only game of the tournament that Brazil didn’t play at the Estadio Jalisco.Alessandro SabattiniDiarioAS
Name Maracanã, Santos stadium after Pelé – Castellanos
Castellanos believes it makes more sense to focus on rechristening Brazilian stadiums in memory of the three-time World Cup winner.
“I think what would be most appropriate would be to rename the Maracanã as the Estádio Pelé, or to change the name of the stadium used by Santos [the club where he spent most of his playing career].
“I’m certainly not saying we won’t be honouring him – there’ll be a minute’s silence before the start of every league game, which I think is the right thing to do. But in Mexico we have had major players like Hugo Sánchez and Rafa Márquez who haven’t received this kind of honour.”