Brazilian club Chapecoense have been awarded the Copa Sudamericana by South American football confederation Conmebol after most of their team died in a plane crash en route to the final. Seventy-one people, including 19 players and staff, were killed in last Monday’s crash on the way to Colombia for the first leg. Colombian opponents Atletico Nacional, who asked for Chapecoense to be awarded the trophy, have been given a Fair Play award to acknowledge their “spirit of peace, understanding and fair play”.
Chapecoense will be given the $2m in prize money while Atletico Nacional will receive $1m. Chapecoense vice-president Ivan Tozzo hailed the decision as “justice”, telling a news conference on Monday: “We were sure that ‘Chape’ would be champions. It is a beautiful tribute.” Three Chapecoense players were among six people to survive the crash. Investigations are continuing into the cause of the accident but a recording suggests the plane was out of fuel moments before the crash outside Medellin. The small Brazilian city of Chapeco held a massive funeral on Saturday after the victims’ coffins arrived home, each draped in the club’s green and white flag. While 13,000 people have applied to become club members in the just two days.