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Thursday, December 18, 2008
Soccer-Ex Ecuador coach Suarez takes over at Atletico Nacional

Reuters

BOGOTA, Dec 18 - Former Ecuador coach Luis Fernando Suarez has taken charge at troubled Atletico Nacional, the former South American champions said on their website (www.atlnacional.com.co).

Suarez, previously with provincial side Deportivo Pereira, replaces Jose Fernando Santa who resigned on Sunday.

Atletico, one of Colombia's most popular clubs, ended the season with a humiliating 4-1 home defeat against La Equidad.

Furious fans rioted during the game, halting play for seven minutes, and later clashed with riot police outside while the team were given a police escort out of the ground.

President Victor Marulanda also announced six players would be leaving the Medellin-based club after their dismal season.

Atletico finished 14th in the Apertura championship in the first half of the season, lost both legs to Fluminense in the last 16 of the Libertadores Cup and finished bottom of their group in the Clausura championship semi-final stage.

Suarez won the league with Atletico in a previous stint in 1999 and led Ecuador to the last 16 at the 2006 World Cup.

(Writing by Brian Homewood, Editing by Tony Jimenez)