Atletico Nacional Want CONMEBOL To Award Chapecoense The Copa Sudamericana Title In Memory Of The Crash Victims
Atletico Nacional have asked CONMEBOL to award the Copa Sudamericana to the Chapecoense side.
The Colombian outfit were scheduled to play the Brazilian side before Chapecoense’s plane crashed claiming the lives of almost the their entire squad and staff.
Chapecoense were travelling to Medellin to face Atletico Nacional in the first-leg of the Copa Sudamericana finals before their plane crashed in Cerro Gordo in the La Union municipality.
76 people were killed in the crash with all but 3 players of the Chapecoense side, Alan Ruschel, jackson Follmann and Neto being the only surviving players.
CONMEBOL has suspended the final and all activities related to the tournament indefinitely in the aftermath of the crash, but Nacional have called the governing body to hand the Brazilian side the Sudamericana title, which will be the first major trophy in the clubs history.
Chapecoense were playing in the third division in 2012 and the club were having a dream run before the tragic incident took place.
“The pain overwhelms our hearts and invades our thinking in mourning,” a club statement reads. “These have been unfortunate hours in which we have been dismayed by news that we never wanted to hear.
“The accident of our football brothers of 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 [is so great].
“They were all – footballers, technical staff, journalists and crew – people with many dreams, and that’s why we cry.
“The worldwide lament has also been extended to the entire Verdolaga family, who from their sponsors, their board of directors, their technical staff, their players, their administrators and their fanbase, have manifested the sadness and dismay for the absurd [tragedy].
“Solidarity did not wait and on our part, we join the suffering of all the brothers who left us and who, along with their families and ourselves, shared a great dream of being continental champions of the Copa Sudamericana.
“After being very worried about the human side, we also thought about the competitive aspect and we want to publish this statement in which Atletico Nacional invites CONMEBOL to award the title of the Copa Sudamericana to the Association Chapecoense de Futebol in honour of their great loss and in posthumous homage to the victims of the fatal accident that our sport now mourns.
“For our part, and forever, Chapecoense: Champions of the 2016 Copa Sudamericana.”
Atletico Nacional players also supported the clubs decision to name Chapecoense as the Champions.
“The shock, the pain and the astonishment are very great,” striker Ezequiel Rescaldani said.
“We were told that this is in the hands of CONMEBOL because you never know how it will end, but the idea of Nacional is to give the championship to Chapecoense, which I think is a good decision and we all agree with.”
“[Our manager Reinaldo Rueda] said that we should take this as a warning from God to make the most of our life,” Gilberto Garcia added.
“We will wait for the decision to be taken by CONMEBOL, but we want to declare Chapecoense the champions and then look to what is coming.”