The Chapecoense took to the field for the first time in two months this past weekend. This is the Brazilian football club team’s first match since loosing nineteen of its players and staff in a Nov. 2016 plane crash.
The horrific crash left only six survivors and took the lives of seventy-one people that were aboard the LaMia plane traveling from Brazil to Columbia.
The charity game was held in front of a sold out crowd of roughly 20,000 people inside Arena Conda stadium in Chapeco, Brazil, media outlets have reported. The attendees were decked out in team gear to celebrate the first game since so many of the players lost their lives.
In the first moments held prior to the match, fans got a chance to see the three surviving players take the field.
It was an occasion full of emotion as Chapecoense returned to action.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) January 22, 2017
Defenders Neto and Alan Ruschel and goalkeeper Jackson Follmann, who had his leg amputated were honored with the Copa Sudamericana cup and all the players received medals as they stood with victims families, BBC reported.
Chapecoense Survivors, Helio Neto, Jackson Follmann and Alan Ruschel receiving the Copa Sudamericana trophy yesterday. We'll never forget. pic.twitter.com/RmRN620SqI
— Away Days Videos (@AwayDaysVideos) January 22, 2017
One of the only surviving players, Follman said:
“We must respect God’s will and move on with our lives now. We’re certainly stronger, and learning to value the simple things after all that happened.”
— Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) January 22, 2017
Another survivor of the crash, radio reporter Rafael Hanzel was the commentator for the day.
— Chapecoense (@ChapecoenseReal) January 21, 2017
Seventy-one minutes into the match, players from both teams stopped and clapped to honor the 71 people that lost their lives last year in the crash.
The funds received from the game will go to rebuilding the club and to the families that lost a loved one in the plane accident.
Chapecoense plane tragedy survivor Jackson Follmann enters the pitch holding the Copa Sudamericana trophy.
— All Football News (@AllFootballLive) January 21, 2017
As of now, the sporting director Rui Costa is working with players on loan from other teams and Vagner Mancini was just appointed as the team manager.
The game played against the Palmeiras, a Sao Paulo team was a day that will be remembered. Including the first goal which was made by Douglas Grolli.
— Photos of Football (@photosofootball) January 22, 2017