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Brazilian clubs petition league to relegation-proof Chapecoense after air tragedy

Diego Godin, Carlos Baca

FILE - In this Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016, file photo, players of Brazil’s Chapecoense celebrate at the end of a Copa Sudamericana semifinal soccer match against Argentina’s San Lorenzo in Chapeco, Brazil. A chartered aircraft with 81 people on board, including the Brazilian first division Chapecoense soccer team heading to Colombia for a regional tournament final, has crashed on its way to Medellin’s international airport. (AP Photo/Andre Penner, File)


The top clubs in Brazilian soccer are hoping to make a powerful gesture in the wake of the Chapecoense plane crash that cost the lives of 75 and injured six more.

[ MORE: World soccer in mourning ]

In the high stakes world of top-flight football, the clubs of Brazil’s top tier are offering to make Chapecoense relegation-proof for three years and loan players to the club at no cost.

USA Today translated the statement from Sao Paolo FC and Corinthians:

At this time of loss and deep sadness, we presidents of Brazilian clubs publish this note to express our most sincere condolences and solidarity to Chapecoense Football Association and its fans, especially to the families and friends of the athletes, coaching staff and directors involved in the tragedy that occurred in the early hours of Tuesday.

Even aware of the irreparable damage caused by this terrible event, the teams understand that time is of unity, support and assistance to Chapecoense.

Colombian side Atletico Nacional was set to oppose Chapecoense in the Copa Sudamericana final, but instead has asked to award the title to its opponents.

Teams around Europe paused to honor Chapecoense’s memory before matches on Tuesday, as we’re again reminded how quickly anyone can be taken away, regardless of age and health.

Follow @NicholasMendola