Nearly a year since the plane crash that took the lives of nearly the entire team and staff, Chapecoense is still trying to work their way towards normalcy. After winning this year’s Catarinense regional championship, not to mention starting off strong in the Brazilian domestic league, Chape can say that they are on the path towards rebuilding what was so tragically lost in November. In addition to domestic help from Brazil’s other clubs, some of Europe’s biggest sides have been sending aid to the Brazilian side, in hopes of helping ease these trying times.
To that end, Serie A giants AS Roma announced last week that they would host Chapecoense for a fundraising friendly on September 1st at the famed Stadio Olimpico. The giallorossi teamed up with Vatican City and the City of Rome to organize the charity game against the Brazilian squad.
In a statement released on Roma’s official website, the club stated that “All proceeds from the match, which gets underway at 20:45 local time at the Stadio Olimpico, will be donated to Chapecoense, to aid with the club’s ongoing upkeep and recovery after the air disaster they suffered while travelling to the first leg of the Copa Sudamerica final in November 2016. Since the tragedy Chapecoense have shown remarkable courage and character, winning the Catarinense regional championship this year and currently sitting 13th in the Brazilian top flight.”
Roma will play the game a few days after hosting Inter Milan in their second match of the season, during the international break of the European season. The match against Roma will be Chapecoense’s second charity match at a European giant’s stadium, after the Joan Gamper trophy match played last week at Barcelona’s Camp Nou. There was a ceremonial opening kickoff involving the three surviving members of the traumatic plane crash, and one of the survivors, Alan Ruschel, played in his first match since the crash; he even swapped jerseys with Lionel Messi afterwards.