Official: Chapecoense declared Copa Sudamericana champions
CONMEBOL agreed to award the trophy to the Brazilian side, whose team was wiped out in a plane crash while heading to the final. They were also awarded the FIFA Fair Play award.
CONMEBOL agreed to award the 2016 Copa Sudamericana to Brazilian side Chapecoense, whose team was wiped out in a plane crash while heading to Medellín to contest the final.
The body issued a statement announcing the posthumous honor to the previously unsung club, which was having a fairy tale season until the disaster a week ago. Chapecoense vice-president Ivan Tozzo hailed the decision as "justice."
"We were sure that 'Chape' would be champions. It is a beautiful tribute," he told a news conference.
Chapecoense also receive the FIFA Fair Play award and a cash allocation of 1,000,000 dollars for displaying “the spirit of peace, understanding and fair play”.
The Paraguay-based confederation said on Monday it had heeded Atlético Nacional's request in deciding to hand the title to Chapecoense.
"CONMEBOL awards the title for the 2016 Copa Sudamericana championship to Chapecoense," including the $2 million in prize money, the confederation said in a statement.
Now the two teams could meet in the South American Cup Winners' Cup, between the Libertadores and Sudamericana Cup champions.
Chapecoense said 13,000 people had applied in just two days for membership of the club, which previously had just 9,000 members. Other Brazilian football teams have offered to farm out their players to Chapecoense.
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