Pelé received bad newsThe Brazilian expected a tribute that he will not finally have
News that nobody expected. The Legislative Assembly of the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday withdrew from the initiative to change the name of the legendary Maracaná stadium to Edson Arantes do Nascimento, O Rei Pelé, said the Brazilian press in an information that caused great astonishment since everything made one think that he was going to have his deserved tribute.
Despite the fact that the Law that changed the name had already been approved a month ago and only needed the acceptance of the interim governor of Rio, Carlos Castro, to be sanctioned, the regional legislature gave up on making the change and vetoed the project.
The announcement was made by the president of the Chamber, André Ceciliano, one of the authors of the project, which was also promoted by former soccer player Bebeto, champion with Brazil of the 1994 United States World Cup and now a deputy from Rio, reported the sports newspaper Lancé!.
The Law generated intense controversy in Brazil as it left journalist Mario Filho, who currently gives the stadium its name, into oblivion to pay homage to the three-time world champion in life, in Sweden 1958, Chile 1962 and Mexico 1970. Last month, Rio's Public Ministry recommended vetoing the project and prosecutors said the stadium's name "integrates Rio's cultural identity" and that the measure would violate the intangible heritage of the fans.
Mario Filho was the main promoter of the idea that Brazil would build the largest stadium in the world for the World Cup that the country organized in 1950 and defended that it be erected in the Maracaná neighborhood, near the city center, and not in a remote neighborhood in which the government at the time wanted to build it.
The games that defined the 1950 World Cup (Uruguay 2-Brazil 1) were played at Maracana, which was not a final but a final home run match, and the 2014 World Cup, when Germany beat Argentina 1 to 0 in Extra time with a goal from Mario Gotze.