Chapecoense club named South American Cup winner

Montevideo, Dec 6 (IANS) Brazilian football club Chapecoense, which was virtually wiped out in a plane crash last week, has been crowned winner of the South American Cup (Copa Sudamericana).

The South American Soccer Confederation (Conmebol) on Monday declared the team winner of this year’s championship, as rival team Atletico Nacional had requested, Xinhua news agency reported.

At least 71 persons were killed as Chapecoense’s plane went down last Monday night near Medellin in Colombia where it was set to play Atletico in two days in a championship final match.

As part of the award, the Brazilian club will receive $2 million and a chance to compete in the 2017 Copa Libertadores de America.

Atletico Nacional will receive Conmebol’s fair play prize, which comes with a $1 million cash prize.

With an eye to “furthering the promotion of football in South America in a spirit of peace, understanding and justice, taking into consideration that sports values should prevail over commercial interests, the council decided to grant Atletico Nacional Club the Conmebol Centenary Fair Play Award,” the regional soccer body said in a statement.

The 71 people who were killed in the crash included about 20 sports writers who were flying with the team to cover the match.

Six people survived the accident, including three football players, two members of the flight crew, and a sports reporter.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the accident, and the charter flight operator, Lamia, has been grounded.

–IANS

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