Urawa Reds, Chapecoense to contest Suruga Bank Championship 2017

Urawa Reds, Chapecoense to contest Suruga Bank Championship 2017

The Japan Football Association on Friday announced that the Suruga Bank Championship will be held in August 2017 at Saitama Stadium.

The 10th edition of the cup match, which has taken place since 2008, will feature 2016 J.League YBC Levain Cup champions Urawa Reds and 2016 Copa Sudamericana champions Chapecoense.

The Brazilian side recently suffered the heartbreaking loss of most of their players and staff in an air crash while en route to face Colombia’s Atletico Nacional in the first leg of the final. At Nacional’s request, Chapecoense were named winners of the tournament by CONMEBOL.

The decision was revealed at a press conference attended by JFA president Kohzo Tashima, Suruga Bank president Mitsuyoshi Okano, and CONMEBOL president Alejandro Dominguez.

“For us, this is a great opportunity to exchange cultures with Japan. We want to use football as a vehicle for cultural exchange and friendship,” Dominguez commented.

Adding his own suggestion, Okano said: “Personally, I think it would be wonderful if Japanese players played for Chapecoense in the spirit of friendship.”

“In addition to Mr. Okano’s thoughts, we want to fill Saitama Stadium with fans of both teams and give the world a great match,” said Tashima. 

“The Japanese football community will give this match its full support.”