Chapecoense awarded Copa Sudamericana

Brazilian club Chapecoense have been declared winners of the Copa Sudamericana after a majority of their team was killed in a plane crash last week. 

The players were flying to Colombia to take on Atletico Nacional in the first leg of the final of the tournament. Only three members of the team survived the crash. 

A total of 71 people, including 19 players and staff, were killed in the tragic crash last Monday. The club will receive the trophy and $2 million in prize money. 

Atletico Nacional, who asked for Chapecoense to win the competition, were given $1 million and received a Fair Play award for their "spirit of peace, understanding and fair play". 

“We were sure that 'Chape' would be champions. It is a beautiful tribute,” Chapecoense vice-president Ivan Tozzo said. 

Investigations into the cause of the crash are still ongoing, but it is believed that the plane ran out of fuel. 

On Saturday, the city of Chapeco held a funeral for all the players that had died in the plane crash. 

The football community has come together to support the Brazilian side and teams around the world have paid their respects. Furthermore, a minute's silence will be held before every Champions League and Europa League match this week. 

With Chapecoense having nearly lost their entire team, top-flight clubs in Brazil have vowed to help them out by loaning them players for free. They have also requested that Chapecoense be saved from relegation for the next three seasons. 

Legendary footballer Ronaldinho, former Argentina international Juan Roman Riquelme and ex-Barcelona player Eidur Gudjohnsen have all reportedly offered to play for Chapecoense. 

In addition to all this, Brazil and Colombia will face each other in an international friendly towards the end of January in order to honour the players that perished and help the families who lost loved ones in the crash.  

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