The Japan Football Association (JFA) on Tuesday hosted a press conference for the upcoming Suruga Bank Championship 2017 SAITAMA between 2016 J.League Levain Cup winners Urawa Reds and 2016 Copa Sudamericana champions Chapecoense.
Present at the event were JFA chairman Kozo Tashima, Suruga Bank president Mitsuyoshi Okano, Urawa Reds manager Mihailo Petrovic and Reds striker Rafael Silva.
“It’s an honour to participate in this competition for the first time in club history,” Petrovic said. “As you know, Chapecoense lost many of their players and staff in last year’s plane crash. It’s an incredibly important match for them and an honour for us to face them.
“I think facing a Brazilian team will make for a very interesting match.”
Silva, who joined Urawa last winter, added: “I want to thank all of the officials who have made this match possible. It will absolutely be a spectacle and I think everyone who attends will remember it.
“Two of my friends, Gil and Sergio Manoel, died in the crash. We were team-mates at Cortiba and they always supported me.”
The match will take place on August 15 at Saitama Stadium 2002.