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Colombia football club says opponents in plane crash, Copa Sudamericana, should take title

Colombian club Atletico Nacional called on football authorities Tuesday to hand the Copa Sudamericana title to their opponents, Brazilian side Chapecoense, as a tribute to the team’s players killed in a plane crash.

The Colombian side made the request to regional football confederation CONMEBOL in a statement.

It asked of CONMEBOL “that the Copa Sudamericana title be handed to Chapecoense Football Association as an honorary trophy for its great loss, and as a posthumous homage to the victims of the fatal accident that has put our sport in mourning.”

(FILES) This file photo taken on November 23, 2016 shows Brazil's Chapecoense players posing for pictures during their 2016 Copa Sudamericana semifinal second leg football match against Argentina's San Lorenzo  held at Arena Conda stadium, in Chapeco, Brazil. A plane carrying 81 people, including members of a Brazilian football team, crashed late on November 28, 2016 near the Colombian city of Medellin, officials said. The airport that serves Medellin said that among the 72 passengers and nine crew were members of Chapecoense Real, a Brazilian football club that was supposed to play against Colombia's Atletico Nacional Wednesday in the South American Cup finals.    / AFP PHOTO
(FILES) This file photo taken on November 23, 2016 shows Brazil’s Chapecoense players posing for pictures during their 2016 Copa Sudamericana semifinal second leg football match against Argentina’s San Lorenzo held at Arena Conda stadium, in Chapeco, Brazil.
A plane carrying 81 people, including members of a Brazilian football team, crashed late on November 28, 2016 near the Colombian city of Medellin, officials said. The airport that serves Medellin said that among the 72 passengers and nine crew were members of Chapecoense Real, a Brazilian football club that was supposed to play against Colombia’s Atletico Nacional Wednesday in the South American Cup finals.
/ AFP PHOTO

Chapecoense and Atletico Nacional were supposed to have faced off Wednesday in the first leg of the final of the Copa Sudamericana, the second most prestigious club football tournament in South America after the Copa Libertadores.

CONMEBOL said in a statement earlier that the match was suspended until further notice.

“We are in contact with the authorities and are waiting for official reports.”

A source close to CONMEBOL told AFP it was “very unlikely” that the final would ever be played.

Nine members of the Brazilian team did not travel to Colombia.

Chapecoense Real had risen from obscurity to reach the Copa Sudamericana finals.

The LAMIA airlines charter declared an emergency at around 10:00 pm (0300 GMT Tuesday), reporting it had suffered “electrical failures,” and crashed a short time later near the city of Medellin, officials said.

Authorities said just six of the 81 people on board were thought to have survived.


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