The decision to rename Madeira’s national airport to ‘Cristiano Ronaldo Airport’ has reportedly created tension between local and national Portuguese government.
The regional government of Madeira are planning to unveil the rebranded terminal in late March, the day after Portugal take on Sweden.
But the Portuguese Ministry for Planning and Infrastructures is unhappy with the change and has reportedly launched an enquiry into the legitimacy of the change as well as asking the national airport management company ANA for their formal opinion on the rebrand.
No formal government complaint has been registered, but local Madeira officials are unhappy with apparent doubts emanating from the Ministry for Planning and Infrastructures.
“We are officially unaware of any controversies, which we find odd and consider inelegant how they were put to us,” a source told English language newspaper The Portugal News.
The renaming had initially been planned for December 2016, but was rebranded due to the player not being available to attend the unveiling.
And the current debate could further delay the ceremony, which is slated for March 29 and is expected to be attended by Ronaldo, Portugal’s president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and the country’s prime minister António Costa.
Ronaldo was born in Madeira in 1985 and grew up on the island until the age of 12, when he moved to the mainland to join Sporting as a youth player.
The Real Madrid star isn’t short of tributes back home, with his own museum housed on the waterfront in Fuchal. Ronaldo also has a statue on the island, while the first of his CR7 chain of hotels has opened in the Island’s capital.