Brazilian football club devastated by plane crash awarded trophy

Chapecoense have been awarded the Copa Sudamericana championship at the request of Atletico Nacional - the team they were due to play

BY Newstalk 06:50 Tuesday 6 December 2016, 6:50 6 Dec 2016

The Brazilian team that lost most of its players in a plane crash have been awarded the trophy they were travelling to contest when the tragedy occurred.

Chapecoense have been given the Copa Sudamericana championship by CONMEBOL, the governing body of South American football, "as a posthumous homage to the victims of the fatal crash that leaves our sport in mourning."

Nineteen of the club's players were killed in the crash, outside Medellin in Colombia as they travelled to the biggest game in the team's history.

The team were set to play the first of two matches against Colombian side Atletico Nacional in the final of Latin America's number two club tournament.

Chapecoense vice-president Ivan Tozzo said the decision was "justice".

"We were sure that 'Chape' would be champions. It is a beautiful tribute," he told a news conference.

As the winner, Chapecoense will qualify automatically for next season's Copa Libertadores, the continent's top tournament.

CONMEBOL has also awarded Atletico Nacional its Fair Play award.

The governing body said it was asked to award Chapecoense the title by the directors of Atletico Nacional.

The British Aerospace 146 came down in a mountainous area last week, killing 71 people, including most of the Chapecoense side and journalists, five Bolivians, a Venezuelan and Paraguayan.

There were just six survivors - two Bolivian crew members, a journalist and three players.

The pilot of the LaMia airline plane radioed air traffic controllers to say he was running out of fuel and needed to make an emergency landing before the crash happened.


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