Brazil, Colombia to meet in charity friendly for plane crash victims

Rio de Janeiro, Dec 6 (IANS) Brazil and Colombia will meet in an international friendly in January to raise money for those affected by last week’s plane crash that devastated Brazil’s Chapecoense football club.

The match will be played on January 22 or 25 with the venue yet to be decided, according to a Brazilian football confederation (CBF) spokesman, reports Xinhua.

All proceeds from the fixture will be donated to families of those affected by the disaster.

In addition, the CBF said it would donate five million reais (around 1.5 million US dollars) to the stricken club.

Seventy-one people died when a chartered flight carrying the Chapecoense football side crashed just before its planned destination near Medellin.

The victims included 19 Chapecoense players and all of the club’s coaching staff. There were six survivors.

CBF spokesman Douglas Lunardi said he was hoping the good will of European clubs would allow both Brazil and Colombia to field their strongest teams. Clubs will not be obliged to release their players given the fixture is not on an official FIFA date.

Lunardi said a decision on whether to play the match at Chapecoense’s 22,000-seat Arena Conda or at a bigger stadium would be made within days.

Earlier, South American football governing body CONMEBOL awarded Chapecoense the Copa Sudamericana title.

Colombia’s Atletico Nacional, who had been due to play Chapecoense in the tournament’s final, were bestowed with a one-off fair play award.

Atletico Nacional wrote to CONMEBOL last week requesting that their rivals be awarded the region’s second most important continental club title.

On Wednesday, at the same time the first leg of the two-match final had been scheduled, Atletico Nacional staged a moving tribute to Chapecoense with a candlelight vigil at their Anastasio Girardot stadium.

–IANS

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