MONTEVIDEO – Soccer fans in Uruguay’s capital of Montevideo have launched a campaign via the municipality’s website to name a square in honor of national soccer team coach Oscar Washington Tabarez.
As of early Tuesday, the initiative had gathered 225 signatures from users registered with the Montevideo Decide platform, but it needs 500 supporters to be considered worth of a “viability study.”
Proponents have cited a number of reasons for the proposal, according to the Montevideo municipal website, including the need to “honor in life” Tabarez, known as “The Teacher,” for his work leading the national soccer team since 2006.
“Men and women of the most diverse origins and preferences have endorsed ‘The Teacher’s’ methods in leading the Uruguayan soccer team,” organizers of the initiative said.
Tabarez’s figure “goes way beyond mere sports achievements” to reflect “values and principles” in every aspect of life, organizers said.
The idea is to name the vast plaza outside City Hall on Montevideo’s main 18 de Julio street, where thousands of soccer fans gather to watch the national team play in international tournaments, after Tabarez.
A giant television screen has been installed across the street on the facade of Diario Oficial to show matches.
The esplanade, proposal organizers said, “has become a gathering place for celebrations” and a favorite spot to “cheer on the Celeste,” as happened when Uruguay played in Russia.
France beat Uruguay 2-0 in the quarterfinals, eliminating the South American squad from the 2018 FIFA World Cup.