The bill that was supposed to make the name change possible has been withdrawn. This project gave rise to much discussion and criticism, after which the initiators withdrew it. “I intended to pay tribute to the king of football, the best player of all time. But the Maracana will always be called the Maracana,” said Andre Ceciliano, the man who introduced the bill to the name of the Workers’ Party.
Critics have questioned, among other things, if politicians have anything better to do than spend their time on such issues, as the country is heavily affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The family of the Brazilian sports journalist whose stadium has officially been named (“Jornalista Mario Filho”) since 1966 also thought the name change was a bad idea. The stadium inaugurated on June 16, 1950 for the 1950 World Cup, the Estádio Municipal takes its unofficial name from the neighborhood that surrounds it.
The three-time world champion Pelé often played at the Maracana and scored the thousandth goal of his career there in 1969, during the match between Santos and Vasco da Gama.
The Maracana was the stadium for the FIFA World Cup finals in 1950 and 2014. It also hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games in 2016.