SAO PAULO (AP) Brazilian club Chapecoense will play Colombia’s Atletico Nacional on April 4 in what will be an emotional home match. In November, 19 members of the Brazilian team died in an air crash outside Medellin as they travelled to play Nacional in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final. Out of 77 passengers, 71 died in the incident, including players, journalists, and club officials. Chapecoense says they will play at 22,000-seat Arena Conda in southern Brazil in the first leg of the Recopa Sudamericana. The tragedy made Atletico Nacional pronounce Chapecoense as champions, and the South American confederation agreed. The Recopa Sudamericana is between the champions of the Copa Sudamericana
Chinese fans are expected to travel to the 2018 World Cup finals in record numbers with the growing interest in soccer and a cordial relationship with hosts Russia seen as key factors, despite the national side's failings on the pitch. China have only played at one World Cup and the current team face an uphill battle to book a berth at the next one, but Feng Tao, chief executive officer of marketing and events firm Shankai, believes fans will flock to Russia regardless. "We are confident we can bring more fans to Russia because of the relationship between Russia and China," said Feng, whose company has signed an exclusive deal with BH Hospitality to sell travel packages for the tournament to the Chinese market.
ST. LOUIS • Major League Soccer’s commissioner said he’s “confident” St. Louis will get a team in the league’s four-team expansion, if voters approve financing for a stadium Tuesday. “I’m very confident that if we’re able to go forward here, all that energy behind bringing MLS to St. Louis for many many years will be fulfilled,” Garber said Monday at a news conference here. “But we still have work to do.” Garber was referring to the expansion process, which includes bids from St. Louis and 11 other communities around the country. Two of the four new franchises are expected to be announced later this year. Garber appeared in St. Louis a week before city voters will decide on Proposition 2, which