Rio governor vetoes renaming Maracanã stadium after Pelé


SAO PAULO (AP)The historic Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro will not be renamed after Pele.

State governor Claudio Castro on Thursday vetoed a divisive proposal passed by the state legislature to honor the three-time World Cup winner by calling it the ”King Pele Stadium.”

The stadium, which hosted the 2014 World Cup final and opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympics, will keep its official name of Estadio Jornalista Mario Filho, after the Brazilian sportswriter credited with the idea to build the stadium for the 1950 World Cup.

However, it is widely just called the Maracana, after the Rio neighborhood it’s located in.

The veto comes after the proposal had been widely criticized and Castro said even the lawmaker behind the bill, Andre Ceciliano, had asked him to scrap the idea.

Filho had used his newspaper ”Jornal dos Sports” to coordinate a campaign to convince Rio’s citizens that the stadium had to be constructed closer to the city center instead of an original plan to build it in a neighborhood far away. His relatives had campaigned against the name change.

The state-owned Maracana can hold about 78,000 fans and is home to Rio clubs Flamengo and Fluminense.

The 80-year-old Pele has not commented on the issue since the bill passed Rio’s state legislature.

More AP soccer: and

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Right Now

Don't Miss

Community Calendar

KETK Twitter & Facebook

FOX51 Twitter & Facebook