Spanish champions Barcelona have announced that they have invited Brazilian team Chapecoense to play in the 2017 Joan Gamper trophy. The club has expressed its desire to help the Brazilians in the reconstruction of their club after the first team was tragically killed in an air crash last month.
"Barcelona has agreed to invite the Brazilian team Chapecoense, victims of a tragic air accident as they headed for the final of the Copa Sudamericana, to the next edition of the Joan Gamper trophy," the club announced in a statement.
Barca said that they wanted to pay homage people who were killed while on their way to Colombia and wanted to help the Brazilian club "regain the level of competition it previously had.".
"With the invitation to Chapecoense to the 2017 Joan Gamper trophy FC Barcelona wishes to help with the institutional and sporting reconstruction of the club," Barcelona announced.
Barcelona's invitation is just one of the many initiatives that have been taken to help Chapecoense recover from this terrible loss. The South American football confederation (CONMEBOL) agreed to award the trophy to the Brazilian club and the players who passed away on Nov 28. Brazilian clubs have offered their players on loan for free for the upcoming season so that Chapecoense can get back on their feet. There was a suggestion that the club should be immune to relegation, but they have refused that offer.