Colombian football team Atlético Nacional, who were scheduled to face off against Brazilian rivals Chapecoense in the Copa Sudamericana final in Medellin on Wednesday, have requested that the cup title go to the other team following the devastating place crash that killed 75 of the 81 people on board.
It was the first time underdogs Chapecoense had made it to the final.
In a statement, Atlético Nacional has now requested that the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) award the Copa Sudamericana cup to Chapecoense in honour of the victims.
“Roundly pain overwhelms our hearts and mourning invades our thinking,” it said. “They have been unfortunate times when we have been shocked with news that never wanted to be heard. The accident of our brothers Chapecoense Soccer mark us for life and already leave an indelible mark in the Latin American and world football. All this was completely unexpected, so the pain. They treated all of them, players, coaches, journalists and crew, people with many dreams, so the tears.
“After being very concerned about the human side think the competitive aspect and we want to publish this statement where Atletico Nacional invites CONMEBOL to the title of the Copa Sudamericana be delivered to the Associacao Chapecoense de Futebol as honorary laurel his great loss and posthumous tribute to the victims of the fatal accident that mourns our sport.
“For our part, and forever, Chapecoense Champion of the Copa Sudamericana 2016.”
’09: Serie D
’12: Serie C
’13: Serie B
’14: Serie A
’16: Copa Sudamericana Final
Chapecoense were being called “Brazilian Leicester”. ?? pic.twitter.com/zim2Mv361X
— All Football News (@AllFootballLive) November 29, 2016
Chapecoense released this heartbreaking video of the team excited for the final.
— Chapecoense (@ChapecoenseReal) November 29, 2016
Instead of playing a final on Wednesday, Atlético Nacional players and coaches held a moment of silence for the victims.
— Atlético Nacional (@atlnacionalcol) November 29, 2016
There are just six survivors from the plane crash, including three Chapecoense players. Two crew members and a journalist are also believed to have survived.
— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) November 29, 2016
Those killed on the flight include 21 journalists travelling with the team for the final.
Brazil has declared three days of mourning.
Photo: Twitter / @AllFootballLive.