Atletico Nacional have asked that Chapecoense be awarded the Copa Sudamericana title after a plane carrying the Brazilian team crashed on route to Colombia.
The Chapecoense team were travelling to play Atletico Nacional in Medellin, Colombia, in the first leg of their maiden Copa Sudamericana final before an electrical failure caused their plane to crash, killing 71 out of the 77 passengers on board.
Chapecoense were scheduled to play Atletico Nacional on Wednesday this week after beating Cerro Porteno in the semi-finals of the Copa Sudamericana.
A source close to the South American Football Federation said the match was unlikely to played after Atletico Nacional called on the federation to take the unprecedented move of awarding the trophy Chapecoense.
The Colombian club confirmed they had asked CONMEBOL to award the Copa Sudamericana trophy to the Brazilian club in an official statement.
“Pain overwhelms our hearts and invades our thinking in mourning. It has been unfortunate hours in which we have been dismayed by news that we never wanted to hear.
“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.”
CONMEBOL are yet to confirm whether the request will be granted, but it is widely expected that the club will awarded the trophy in the next few days.
Mr Suram, a journalist from Brazil’s Radio Grenal FM, said: “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.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) November 29, 2016
Manchester United and Torino led the messages of support for tragedy-hit Chapecoense after the air disaster that has wiped out almost all the Brazilian club’s playing squad and coaching staff.
Over 70 of the 81 passengers and crew on board Chapecoense’s charter flight to Medellin, Colombia, died in a late-night crash, with 22 journalists also among the travelling party.
Chapacoense were on their way to play in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional, which had been due to take place on Wednesday evening.
The club have only been a part of Brazil’s top flight for the past three seasons, and were aiming for the greatest achievement in their 43-year history.
— Torino Football Club (@TorinoFC_1906) November 29, 2016
Both Manchester United and Torino have rebuilt after deadly air disasters, which shocked the football world in 1958 and 1949 respectively.
United, the 20-times English champions, said in a statement on Twitter: “The thoughts of everyone at Manchester United are with @ChapecoenseReal & all those affected by the tragedy in Colombia.”
Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney added: “Sad news to wake up to today. Thoughts are with @ChapecoenseReal and their family and friends.”
— Alexis Sánchez (@Alexis_Sanchez) November 29, 2016
Rooney was just one of a number of professional footballers around the world to post their tributes to the victims of the plane disaster.
The President of Brazil has since declared three days of national mourning following the crash.
Michel Temer released an official statement pledging his government’s full support for the families of the victims of the crash.
” In this sad time when tragedy has befallen dozens of Brazilian families, I express my solidarity. We are putting all the means to help families and give all possible assistance.
“The aircraft and the Foreign Ministry have already been triggered. The government will do everything possible to ease the pain of friends and family of sports and national journalism.”
— Neymar Jr (@neymarjr) November 29, 2016
Brazil’s most iconic footballer, Neymar, paid his own tribute to with a post on his Twitter account.
Neymar announced earlier this year that he would stepping down as captain of the national team after helping guide them to a gold medal win at the 2016 Olympic games.
Corinthians have also formally requested that Chapecoense be exempt from relegation for the next three years, with all Serie A clubs pledging their support for the motion.
A number of teams in Brazil have said they will provide players to Chapecoense so that they can continue as a club, with Flamengo and Palmeiras so far confirmed.
Palmeiras, who won the Brazilian league title just two days ago, have requested that they be able to wear Chapecoense shirts in homage to the stricken club.
The president of Portuguese club Benfica released a statement this morning emphasising his “readiness” to support the club by loaning them players on an emergency basis.