Barcelona have invited Brazilian side Chapecoense to play in next summer’s Joan Gamper Trophy match at Camp Nou in homage to the 71 people who died in an airplane accident in Colombia last month.
Nineteen of Chapecoense’s players were among those killed in the crash just outside Medellin as the side travelled to the first of two matches against Atletico Nacional to determine the champion of the Copa Sudamericana.
CONMEBOL, the South America governing body for football, have since officially given the Copa Sudamericana title to Chapecoense, at the request of Atletico Nacional.
Barca have not yet confirmed a date for next year’s instalment of the annual friendly match which usually takes place in early-to-mid August, while they also say they want to help Chapecoense with both their “institutional and sporting reconstruction.”
“Barcelona want to pay homage to the 71 people who died in the accident and their families,” the Catalan club said in a statement.
“The club will work so that the Joan Gamper Trophy 2017 provides a huge homage to them from the football world through different initiatives surrounding the game.
“With the invitation of Chapecoense to the Joan Gamper Trophy, Barcelona want to collaborate with the institutional and sporting reconstruction of the club and help them recover the competitive level they had.
“Barcelona sent a formal letter to Chapecoense’s current board of directors on Thursday.”
Brazil and Colombia have also announced that they will play a friendly at the end of January to help victims of the air crash that killed most of the players, staff and directors of Chapecoense.
Jackson Follman, one of the three Chapecoense players to survive the tragedy, heads in for a second surgery on Thursday due to an infection while Neto remains on a respirator and the third player, Alan Ruschel is out of the Intensive Care Unit, doctors told EFE news agency.
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