Brazil’s top football clubs promised a full year of free player loans to rebuild the Chapecoense team and called for a three-year grace period without relegation. 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. Eight team presidents signed the press release following the plane crash Tuesday morning. The teams include Palmeiras, the reigning national champion, and Corinthians, São Paulo’s most popular team.
Palmeiras announced it would use the Chapecoense jersey in its final championship game, postponed to December 11. Football fans suggested the gesture of homage en masse across social media.
Also in solidarity, the Colombian finalists Atlético Nacional requested that CONMEBOL gives the Copa Sudamerica title to Chapecoense. The title comes with a $2 million award.
According to a Brazilian radio station, Paris Saint-Germain would donate $12 million to the rebuilding effort. The French team has not yet confirmed the information.
Chapecoense’s Cinderella Story
Just six years ago, Chapecoense was playing in Brazil’s fourth division. Since then, the club has won the Santa Catarina state championship twice and gained national promotion from Serie D to C to B, and then A. The club has played with elite Brazilian teams since 2014 and has not been relegated since. Unlike many Brazilian football clubs, Chapecoense never mortgaged its future to hire high-profile players.
In 2015, Chapecoense played its first international match in the Copa Sudamericana, and this season, they managed to eliminate traditional clubs in the competition, including Argentina’s Independiente and the current Libertadores champions, San Lorenzo.