Atletico Na­cional to honor Chapecoense

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Colom­bia’s Atletico Na­cional ar­rived in Ja­pan for the Club World Cup yes­ter­day, still deal­ing with the trauma of the re­cent air­plane crash that caused the can­cel­la­tion of the Copa Su­damer­i­cana fi­nal. Atletico was to play Chapecoense in the fi­nal but the plane car­ry­ing the Brazil­ian team to the game crashed on Nov. 28, killing al­most all on board. Na­cional qual­i­fied for the Club World Cup by win­ning the Copa Liberda­tores in July, and vowed to honor the memory of its ri­vals when it faces ei­ther South Africa’s Mamelodi Sun­downs or Ja­panese cham­pi­ons Kashima Antlers on Wed­nes­day. “The best trib­ute we can give them is to play a great tour­na­ment and reach the fi­nal,” Na­cional coach Reinaldo Rueda said at Kan­sai International Air­port. The di­rec­tors of Atletico asked the gov­ern­ing body of South Amer­i­can foot­ball to award Chapecoense the Copa Su­damer­i­cana cham­pi­onship. Atletico is hop­ing to ad­vance to a fi­nal against Span­ish gi­ants Real Madrid on Dec. 18. “We know the re­spon­si­bil­ity we have to South Amer­ica,” Atletico cap­tain Alexis Hen­riquez said. —AP

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