GFF TO START LEAGUE WITH HOMAGE TO PELÉ

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The Gambia Football Federation and the football family in the Gambia will observe a minute silence to pay homage to Pelé at the Super Cup final between champions Hawks and Wallidan on Saturday in Banjul. The match marks the beginning of the new football league featuring 18 teams and 33 weeks of play.

In a statement, the GFF expressed sadness over the passing of Brazilian and global football icon regarded by many as the Greatest Footballer of All Times. Pelé died on Thursday.

The GFF President Lamin Kaba Bajo described the late soccer icon as the one and only greatest player that ever lived: “We are really saddened to hear his passing and for us in the Gambia. It’s the saddest period in football and sports in general as the world’s football icon is no more”.

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Meanwhile FIFA President Gianni Infantino wants a football stadium in every country in the world named after Brazilian legend Pelé.

The GFF has not commented on that.

Funeral

Meanwhile, Pelé was buried in world’s tallest cemetery overlooking the Santos pitch that made him famous.

The Brazilian football legend is said to have chosen the floor to pay homage to his footballer father who wore the number nine shirt as a centre forward.

Pelé, who scored more than 1,000 goals in his career, died from cancer on December 29, aged 82.

On Monday, his coffin was placed on the centre circle of the Urbano Caldeira stadium in Sao Paulo, ahead of a private burial at a vertical cometary near the pitch yesterday Tuesday.

Thousands of fans queued to pay their respects to the three-time World Cup winner as his coffin lay in state at the home of his former club.

On Tuesday, Pelé was laid to rest at a vault at the Memorial Necropole Ecumenica, the first vertical cemetery in Latin America. He is said to have picked the ninth floor to pay tribute to his father, Dodinho, who died in 1996.

The Ecumenical Memorial Necropolis was built in 1983 and, according to the Guinness Book of Records, is the tallest cemetery in the world with more than 14,000 vaults.

Designed by Argentine businessman Pepe Altstut, it was conceived to solve a problem of burials having to be held in muddy conditions due to the groundwater in the region.

The 14-floor high cemetery has a tropical garden, a 24-hour restaurant, and even a classic car museum.