The Atletico Nacional squad have asked CONMEBOL to award Chapecoense with this year’s Copa Sudamerica, after a tragic air disaster that claimed the lives of 76 people. The Chapecoense team were due to play Atletico Nacional in Medellin, in the Copa Sudamerica final, before a tragic electrical failure caused their plane to crash.
The Brazilian club were having quite a season, having defeated both San Lorenzo and Independiente on their way to the finals.
A statement from Atletico Nacional revealed that they have asked the governing body to give the title to their opponents due to tragic recent events:
“The accident of our football brothers, Chapecoense, will mark us for life and will leave an indelible mark on Latin-American and world football. All this has been completely unexpected, that's why the pain. They were all footballers, technical staff, journalists and crew, people with many dreams, that's why the tears.”
“After being very worried about the human part we thought about the competitive aspect and we want to publish this statement in which Atletico Nacional ask Conmebol to give the title of Copa Sudamericana be given to the Chapecoense as an honorary award for this great loss, and in posthumous homage to the victims of the fatal accident that impute our sport. For our part, and forever, Chapecoense are champions of the 2016 Copa Sudamericana,” said the statement.
Some of Brazil's top clubs have requested to give players on free loans to the club until the 2017 season. They believe that the club should not be relegated, however, details of how this would work financially have not been revealed.
“The information at the moment is that Atletico Nacional will send a request of [governing body] Conmebol for them to declare Chapecoense the legitimate winners of the Cup. The gesture would be similar to what happened in 1949, when the Torino team were also killed in a plane crash when it collided with the Superga Basilica in Italy, killing all 31 on board. Still on the same day, the other teams in the Italian championship agreed to give the title posthumously to Turin.”
“The directors and players of Atletico Nacional have shown unanimity in what they wanted. Chapecoense will be crowned champions, if not tomorrow night when the winner would have been decided, then certainly in the next few days,” said Mr. Suram, a journalist in Brazil.
A number of clubs around the world have shown their widespread support for tragedy-hit Chapecoense.
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