Skip to main content

Chapecoense asked to continue in Brasileiro to honour plane crash dead

Chapecoense president Ivan Tozzo says his team have been asked to fulfil their next scheduled league fixture to honour the players and staff that died in an air crash before their Copa Sudamericana final.

The flight, carrying members of the first team and a number of journalists, came down in Cerro Gordo, Colombia killing 71 of the 77 people on board.

Chapecoense were in Colombia to face Atletico Nacional in the first leg of the second-tier continental final. Atletico have requested that Chapecoense be crowned champions by CONMEBOL, South America's governing body.

Previously vice-president, Tozzo has assumed duties at the head of the club.

He revealed on Wednesday that Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) president Marco Polo del Nero has requested that they line-up for their Campeonato Brasileiro match against Atletico Mineiro on December 11.

Tozzo said at a news conference: "I spoke with president Marco Polo del Nero and he told me the game against Atletico Mineiro, which is our next game, we're going to have a big event in Chapeco, which is going to be scheduled. 

"I replied to him: 'But we don't have 11 players to put on the field!' 

"He said to me: 'You guys have it. You have a base team [Under-20s). Put on the players that are recovering from injury, which is five or six players, and another who is ready to play, and then complete the team with juniors.

"It doesn't matter what the final score is. We have to have a big party that you deserve, that Chapeco deserves, that the region deserves, that Santa Catarina deserves, and that Brazil deserves.'"

Though Chapecoense's squad has been decimated by the tragedy, several Brazilian clubs have reportedly offered to loan them players at no cost in order to fulfil their fixtures.

Chapecoense also offered medical updates on their three players to survive the crash.

Goalkeeper Jackson Follmann has had a leg amputated, with doctors also considering whether to amputate his other foot.

Neto was described as being in a "stable medical state", with Alan Ruschel able to move his limbs after undergoing spinal surgery.