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America de Cali fans want the devil back in their crest  5 Months ago

Source:   USA Today  

SAO PAULO (AP) — America de Cali has a new crest, and the Colombian soccer team's fans aren't happy about it.

The traditional pitchfork-carrying devil that first appeared in 1940 is gone, to be replaced by a simple letter A along with the name of the club and the year it was founded.

It's not the first time that the devil has disappeared — in part because of religious reasons — but it has largely been a mainstay since the early 1990s. Fans of the team, which is known as the Red Devils, have now started a social media campaign to bring it back, using #eldiablonosetoca — or "don't touch the devil."

America chief executive Ricardo Perez said the change is meant to boost spirits after a decade of difficulties both on and off the field, harking back to the club's glory days under coach Gabriel Ochoa Uribe, who led the team to seven league titles from 1979-91. Uribe objected to the devil because of his religious beliefs, leading to its removal from the crest during his reign.

"We want our fans to remember who we were in 1979 when we won our first championship. We want them to remember the Copa Libertadores finals we played in the 80s and we want to return to our golden age," Perez said Thursday, adding that religion had nothing to do with the decision this time. "This crest reminds us of those days. We are not attacking our history."

America has won 13 Colombian titles, but the club ran into financial problems after its last championship in 2008. In 2011, the team was relegated to the second division. It returned to the top division in 2016.

Club officials said this week that the new crest will be used for every America de Cali product.

GALLARDO FOR ARGENTINA?

After winning another Copa Libertadores title, River Plate coach Marcelo Gallardo is again talking about the possibility of taking over Argentina's national team. But he doesn't feel his chances are good.

"I never saw a demonstration that they really wanted me. When I spoke about what I think, saying I saw it was bad, it was as if they had thrown me out," Gallardo told Argentine media. "I am one of those that says what he sees. And I want things to improve."

Argentina is looking to replace Jorge Sampaoli, who left after Argentina lost to France at the World Cup.

EXPENSIVE URUGUAYAN

Flamengo made one of the most expensive signings in Brazilian soccer history this week, paying 13 million euros ($15 million) to rival Cruzeiro for 24-year-old Uruguay midfielder Giorgian de Arrascaeta.

Arrascaeta scored his team's winning goal in the Brazilian Cup final in October after a 25-hour trip to Sao Paulo from Tokyo, where he played for his national team. With the 2-1 victory over Corinthians and the title, Cruzeiro has earned a spot in next year's Copa Libertadores.

___

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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