After having a hard time negotiating with the Brazilian Soccer Federation (CBF), Chapecoense announced that it will play Barcelona in a friendly match.
The two teams will meet on August 7, in the Joan Gamper tournament. Chapecoense had to convince CBF to postpone its Brazilian League games so the team can travel. Only this week the club and the federation reached an agreement.
Chapecoense will embark on an international tour in August. On August 15 the club will the Soruga Cup in Japan. Brazilian team will play Japanese side Urawa Red Diamonds. Moreover, a friendly match against Italian squad Roma is yet to be confirmed.
Chapecoense’s success interrupted by tragedy
The Chapecoense Football Association was one of the greatest storylines in Brazilian sports last year. Just seven years ago, the small Santa Catarina-based team played in Brazil’s lowest division. In 2016, it was a solid member of the national Serie A. Also, it was on track to becoming the country’s most successful team at the international level.
The team would play Copa Sudamericana’s final against Colombia’s Atletico Nacional, but after a plane crash in November – which killed 71 people – the very existence of the Brazilian team was in jeopardy.
After the tragedy, Brazil’s top football clubs promised a full year of free player loans to rebuild the team. They also called for a three-year grace period without relegation. It means that if Chapecoense finishes in the last four of the twenty teams in the national league, the Brazilian FA would instead relegate the fifth-to-last team to Serie B.
Also in solidarity, the Colombian Copa Sudamericana finalists Atlético Nacional requested that CONMEBOL gives the Copa Sudamerica title to Chapecoense. And that was exactly what happened. The title came with a $2 million award and a spot at Copa Libertadores – South America’s most prestigious and profitable competition.