The municipality of Naples has voted in favour of renaming Napoli’s stadium after the late Diego Maradona.
The legendary player and two-time scudetto winner with Napoli passed away last month at the age of 60, with the news prompting an outpouring of emotion in Italy and around the world.
In the wake of his death, both the mayor of Naples and club president Aurelio de Laurentiis spoke in favour of changing the name of Napoli’s home ground – the Stadio San Paolo – to honour Maradona.
Now, the municipality has unanimously passed a resolution to change the name of the venue to the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium.
The municipality’s statement reads: “With a resolution approved today, the stadium was named after Diego Armando Maradona.
“The resolution was proposed by Mayor Luigi de Magistris, by the Councillor for Toponymy Alessandre Clemente and signed by the entire City Council, which met in Palazzo San Giacomo.
“Shortly before the Executive Committee meeting, the Advisory Commission for City Toponomy had approved the proposal of the Mayor, the Councillor for Toponomy Allessandra Clemente and the City Council, naming the San Paolo stadium after Diego Armando Maradona with the name Diego Armando Maradona Stadium.”
The club have since confirmed in a short statement that the ground has been renamed, and there will be no joint name, such as the San Paolo-Maradona, as had been mooted previously.
The 55,000-seater stadium played home to Maradona’s best years as a footballer. The Argentine forward joined Napoli from Barcelona in 1984 and took the club to their only two Serie A titles to date, as well as the UEFA Cup in 1989.
The famous stadium also hosted the 1990 World Cup semi-final between Italy and Argentina, in which Maradona starred.
Following news of Maradona’s death, fans gathered outside the stadium to sing and pay their respects to a man many consider to be the best footballer of all time.
Though likely to be an overwhelmingly popular decision, the name change will not go down well with everyone in the city of Naples.
As reported by Football Italia, a group of priests wrote to the city’s archbishop to take a stand against the renaming, prior to the municipality’s announcement.
“The Stadio San Paolo should be name after the saint who brought us Jesus,” their letter reads.