The South American football confederation, Conmebol, decided on Monday to award the Copa Sudamericana to Chapecoense, the Brazilian club who lost 19 players in a plane crash last week while heading to the final.
The club was enjoying a fairy tale season until the charter plane flying it to the biggest match in its history ran out of fuel and smashed into the mountains in north-west Colombia a week ago, killing 71 people.
The team was heading to play the first leg of the final against Colombian club Atlético Nacional in the city of Medellín. Nacional responded to the crash by calling for Chapecoense to be awarded the Copa Sudamericana, the second highest continental club football title in South America. The confederation said it had heeded Nacional’s request in deciding to hand the title to Chapecoense and granted Nacional its Conmebol Centenary Fair Play award.
The small Brazilian city of Chapeco held a mass funeral on Saturday for its team after the victims’ coffins arrived home, each draped in the club’s green and white flag.
A minute’s silence for the victims was scheduled to be held before every Champions League and Europa League game this week.