• Kyodo


The J. League said Friday it will continue its charity activities to raise funds for tragedy-hit Brazilian side Chapecoense and will also invite its youth team to a soccer tournament it hosts in summer.

Members of Chapecoense, including the coach and four players who previously had stints in Japan, died in a fatal airplane accident in November while traveling to the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final in Colombia.

Only six of the 77 aboard the plane survived.

Chapecoense’s top team is scheduled to play in Japan in August at the annual Suruga Bank Championship.

The Urawa Reds will face the Copa Sudamericana winner after their final opponents Atletico Nacional asked for the trophy to be awarded to the Brazilian side.

“They said they will come in August seriously looking to win. I’m hoping for a good game,” said J. League chairman Mitsuru Murai.

Murai visited Chapeco, Brazil, late last month and met with the city’s mayor as well as the president of the club together with Brazilian legend and former Japan national team coach Zico.

Murai presented to them videos that include footage of the victims when they played in Japan and messages from Japanese supporters.

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