Despite being decimated when their plane crashed into the Colombian mountains, the Chapecoense soccer team has vowed it will still compete.
All that remains of Brazil’s Chapecoense soocer club are six footballers, a few support staff and a sense of absolute devastation following the crash which killed 71 people out of 77 on board.
The team released a statement saying that the would still try to play and would rebuild the club to honour those who died and their families. Other clubs in the top league in Brazil have already come forward with offers to loan players.
They want to help the little club to stay in the top division while it heals and rebuilds. Walter Feldamn, who is secretary general of the Brazilian Football Confederation said that he had already been called by eight clubs who were offering “concrete, material solidarity.”
He added that they were busy looking at the best course of action. Meanwhile, players from the team who had been offered deals to leave are now said to be reconsidering. They want to stay to offer their support.
The devastating crash happened as Chape, as it is known by fans, was heading to the final of the Copa Sudamericana. Only three players survived the crash and all are still in hospital in Columbia: defender Hélio Zampier, defender-midfielder Alan Ruschel and goalkeeper Jakson Follmann. The goalkeeper has had to have his leg amputated and will be coming to terms not just with the loss of his team mates but his career.
Chape became an icon for the underdog after managing to reach the top of South American soccer without having any superstar players. Just seven years ago, it was in the fourth division and has steadily climbed the footballing ladder.
The club is now hoping to play its match against Atletico Mineiro using a team mostly made up of junior players.