Colombia football club says opponents in plane crash should take title

Supporters of the Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense gather at the Arena Conda Arena in Chapeco, Brazil, Nov 29, 2016, to perform a vigil in honor of the victims of the plane crash in La Union, department of Antioquia, Colombia.
Supporters of the Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense gather at the Arena Conda Arena in Chapeco, Brazil, Nov 29, 2016, to perform a vigil in honor of the victims of the plane crash in La Union, department of Antioquia, Colombia.PHOTO: EPA

BOGOTA (AFP) - Colombian club Atletico Nacional called on football authorities Tuesday (Nov 29) to hand the Copa Sudamericana title to their opponents, Brazilian side Chapecoense, as a tribute to the team's players killed in a plane crash.

The Colombian side made the request to regional football confederation Conmebol in a statement.

It asked of Conmebol "that the Copa Sudamericana title be handed to Chapecoense Football Association as an honorary trophy for its great loss, and as a posthumous homage to the victims of the fatal accident that has put our sport in mourning."

Chapecoense and Atletico Nacional were supposed to have faced off Wednesday (Nov 30) in the first leg of the final of the Copa Sudamericana, the second most prestigious club football tournament in South America after the Copa Libertadores.

Conmebol said in a statement earlier that the match was suspended until further notice.

"We are in contact with the authorities and are waiting for official reports." A source close to Conmebol told AFP it was "very unlikely" that the final would ever be played.

Nine members of the Brazilian team did not travel to Colombia.

Chapecoense Real had risen from obscurity to reach the Copa Sudamericana finals.

The LAMIA airlines charter declared an emergency at around 10pm (0300 GMT Tuesday), reporting it had suffered "electrical failures," and crashed a short time later near the city of Medellin, officials said.

Authorities said just six of the 81 people on board were thought to have survived.