This Brazilian club from the state of Santa Catarina were on the cusp of achieving greatness. Chapecó is a small city on the south of the country and recent years have seen the club rise from the fourth tier to Brazil's Serie A. The team were on their way to Medellín to face Atletico Nacional in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana, (the equivalent to our Europa League). These games will never be played and Atletico Nacional surpassed themselves with a fine gesture announcing that Chapecoense were the champions and one would hope that CONMEBOL will also be as sensitive to the matter.
This tragedy has impacted on many. 71 people lost their lives yesterday including 20 journalists who were on their way to cover this small team about to write their own chapter in South American footballing history. I imagine that as time unfold more details of the accident will be released but now it's all about respect and the sharing of the suffering of those directly affected by the tragedy. We should also congratulate Atletico Nacional's gesture and that of other Brazilian club's offering to assist with the future and rebuilding of Chapecoense.