Colombian stadium first in Latin America to be renamed after Pele
Columbia is the first country to pay tribute to football legend Pelé by renaming a stadium in Villavicencio city after him.
Colombia is the first Latin American country to answer FIFA president Gianni Infantino's request to name one stadium in honor of football legend Pelé.
Infantino on Monday said world football's governing body would ask every country in the world to name a stadium after the Brazilian icon, who died last week after a long battle with illness and who is widely considered as the greatest footballer of all time.
The governor of Colombia's southern Meta department, Juan Guillermo Zuluaga announced on Twitter late on Wednesday that a stadium in Villavicencio city "will be called BELLO HORIZONTE 'REY PELE'."
"Future generations must know who this world football icon was," said Zuluaga.
The stadium can seat 15,000 spectators and was previously called Bello Horizonte, which means "beautiful skyline" in Spanish.
It is the home of the modest second-division Colombian side Llaneros.
Three-time Brazilian world football champion Pele died at the age of 82 on December 29 following a long battle with colon cancer.
Check out: Pelé's life in pictures
He was buried in Santos, the city where he played most of his football career.
While attending Pele's wake, Infantino said he would ask all FIFA's member federations to honor Pelé by renaming a stadium after him.
Colombia was beaten to the stadium move by Cape Verde, whose prime minister Jose Ulisses Correia e Silva had on Wednesday announced the renaming of the national stadium in the capital Praia.
The Maceio city in Brazil has had a stadium called "Rei Pele" (King Pele) since 1979 although it is commonly known as the Trapichao.