Atletico Nacional of Medellín, the Colombian club soccer team that was scheduled to play Chapecoense on Wednesday in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final, has asked CONMEBOL, soccer’s governing body in South America, to award the championship to its expected opponent after a vast majority of the team perished in a plane crash late Monday night.
The plane was carrying 81 passengers, 22 of them Chapecoense players. All but three of the players perished in the crash, according to the latest reports, and another died after he was rescued.
“Atletico Nacional asks CONMEBOL that the title of the South American Cup be given to the Association Chapecoense de Futebol in memory of this great loss,” the club said in a statement.
In a statement of his own, CONMEBOL President Alejandro Dominguez said the governing body would not act until the end of the three-day mourning period decreed by Brazilian President Michel Temer.
“This is a tragic day for football. Our prayers are with all the passengers of the crashed aircraft, their relatives and their friends. From CONMEBOL we extend our most heartfelt solidarity to the Chapecoense community, to the journalistic community and to the people of Brazil,” the statement reads, in part. “All activities of the South American Football Confederation are suspended until further notice and the institution officially announces that it joins the three days of national mourning decreed by the Brazilian government.”
Copa Sudamericana is South America’s second-most-prestigious club soccer tournament, with the winner gaining entry into Copa Libertadores, the continent’s premier competition.