The late Ecuadorian striker will be the subject of a couple of tributes when his former team, Mexican side Club America, takes to the field against Atlas.Club America’s game against Atlas at Estadio Azteca is set to feature more than one tribute to the late Christian “Chucho” Benitez, who died from a heart problem in Qatar on Monday.
The former America player will be the subject of a tribute before kickoff (scheduled for 6 p.m. ET) against Atlas, which will delay the start of the game by a few minutes. Then, in acknowledgement of the No. 11 Benitez wore for the club, fans are being encouraged to applaud loudly in the 11th minute so “the Azteca resounds up to heaven in honor of Chucho,” as a tweet from the club read.
Benitez scored 52 times in 79 appearances for Las Aguilas after joining the club in the summer of 2011, and ticket prices for Saturday's game have been reduced, with a capacity 100,000 crowd expected in Mexico City to pay tribute to their fallen hero.
The Ecuadorian soccer federation has also given some further details about Benitez’s death, with its president, Luis Chiriboga, telling the press in Ecuador that it was a caused by a degenerative and rare heart problem. Various Ecuadorian national teams players are already in Quito to attend Benitez’s funeral, including Morelia’s Jefferson Montero and Pachuca’s Walter Ayovi.