Brazil’s top clubs have signed a pledge to assist the rebuilding of tragic-hit Chapecoense, following a horrific plane crash that left 71 people dead.
The directors of Coritiba, Corinthians, Palmeiras, Portuguesa, Santos and Sao Paulo have since pledged to assist Chapecoense through a series of ‘solidarity measures’.
Some of the terms include a free loan of players for the 2017 season and a formal request to exempt the club from relegation for the next three seasons.
In the event that Chapecoense finishes in the bottom three, the 16th-placed team will be relegated instead.
It’s particularly heartening, given that Portuguese, one of the five, are struggling themselves having been regelated four times in the last four seasons.
Atletico Nacional, the team that was meant to play Chapecoense in the Copa Sudamerica finals, has also delivered a moving tribute in response to the tragedy, while officially requesting that the latter be named champions for the tournament.
“We’re waiting for the decision that CONMEBOL takes. The officials will talk but we want them to declare [Chapecoense] as champions,” said Atletico player Gilberto Garcia.
The video below is the live tribute by Atletico Nacional.