In the wake of an unspeakable tragedy in the world of football, the presidents of Brazil's biggest football clubs have come together and devised a plan to help stabilise a club that is in mourning after being rocked to it's very foundation by the disturbing news that filtered through late last night.
While numbers are not yet confirmed, it is believed that only three Chapecoense players who boarded the plane to Colombia to play in the Copa Sudamericana Final survived the crash, and along with those who did not travel who we saw grieving in the team's dressing room that leaves less than enough first-team players to field a starting XI.
It truly is devastating for the club, and Brazil as a whole, and as a result we have seen Brazilian clubs rapidly take action to ensure that Chapecoense will be stable in the short-term as well as going forward.
At such a difficult time, it's comforting to see an outpouring of offers to help, in particular of loan players for no financial return, and immunity towards relegation for next season, as was confirmed in a statement today.
In this moment of loss and pure sadness, we, presidents of Brazilian clubs that publish this note, would like to express our deepest condolences and solidarity with Associação Chapecoense de Futebol and their supporters, especially their families and friends, coaching staff and board, for the tragedy that occurred this Tuesday.
Even though knowing of the irreparable damage that was caused by this terrible incident, the clubs understand that this is a moment for union, support and help to Chapecoense.
Therefore, the clubs announce the Solidarity Measures to Chapecoense, which constitute, among others, of the following:
(i) Free loan of athletes for the 2017 season;
(ii) Official solicitation to the CBF to prevent Chapecoense from being relegated to the Serie B for the next three season. If Chapecoense finishes the league amongst the bottom four, the 16th placed will be relegated.
It is a minimum gesture of solidarity that is doable from us, but gifted with the most sincere objective to rebuild this institution and the Brazilian football part that was lost today.
Despite all the trouble with corruption in Brazilian football, this is the act of a community that is united in grief.
The gesture is touching, and welcome, and while it cannot ease the grief that those who are personally affected by the tragedy, it will go some way to ensure that the football club has a life going forward. Coritiba, Corinthians, Palmeiras, Portuguesa, Santos and São Paulo are the clubs who got the ball running with the above statement, but more will surely follow.
Other clubs from around the world such as PSG and Benfica have also extended their offers of support for the club, showing that the entire football world is reeling from such a tragedy.
A homenagem dos nossos jogadores ao @ChapecoenseReal. #ForçaChape pic.twitter.com/Obv0RmOGQm
— SL Benfica (@SLBenfica) November 29, 2016
It's hard to imagine, but the club must now attempt to rebuild, and it is great to see that some of the biggest Brazilian football clubs immediately understand their role in helping that to happen.
This statement comes on the back of Atletico Nacional, the other finalists in the Copa Sudamericana, asking for the title to be awarded to Chapecoense.
Brazilian football is in mourning, but their response has been heartwarming.
[Via Corinthians.com, translation provided by reddit user ForcadoUALG]