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    Bad news from South America

    Oh, and Argentina's La Nación sent a correspondent to Chapecó to cover the memorial service over the weekend. While there he spoke to club officials, who say that the club doesn't want to lose the family and community spirit it's had until now, and as such they're going to try as far as possible to rebuild the squad with youth players and give trialists chances and whatnot, rather than signing some of the star names who've been rumoured as happy to come and play for them for free (Ronaldinho and Juan Román Riquelme have both been mentioned).

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      Bad news from South America

      Which sounds very sensible. I'm not sure either Ronny or Riquelme would be much more use these days than a fart in a trance.

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        Bad news from South America

        A couple of updates:

        The final round of the Brasileiro will take place next Sunday with 9 games. Chapecoense v Atlético Mineiro will be recorded as a 'double walkover' with both clubs registering a 3-0 defeat.

        It is now unlikely that Chape will have 3 years' immunity from relegation. Both the CBF and acting club president Ivan Tozzo are against the idea.

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          Bad news from South America

          Sam wrote: rather than signing some of the star names who've been rumoured as happy to come and play for them for free (Ronaldinho and Juan Román Riquelme have both been mentioned).
          And Eidur Gudjohnssen apparently.

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            Bad news from South America

            The CBF are not only recording Chapecoense v Atlético Mineiro as a double walkover, they're fining both clubs for not playing it, too. I know it's in the rule book, but if ever there were a case for saying, 'You know what? We'll let you get away with it just this once...'

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              Bad news from South America

              Channel hoping this evening has landed me on Chapecoense vs Palmeiras, which would appear to be Chape first home game in this year's Brazilian Championship (dull game so far, 0-0 at half-time). But not their first home game of any sort, as the State Championships have already happened. And the opening groups of the Copa Libertadores. And the Recopa Sudamerica. Entry for the later two being gained as the 2016 Copa Sudamerica champions.
              The commentary has brought a few surprising things up. One is that Chape's schedule has seen them visit nine cities in four countries over the last 29 days, racking up 25,000 air miles in the process. That could be regarded as unsympathetic scheduling...
              One of their flights back, from Buenos Aires, couldn't land at the nearest airport to Chapeco, being re-routed to somewhere else an 11-hour coach ride away! So not exactly close by, even by air. That re-route must have been rather tense. Erm, back to that "Really??" to the fixtures this club has been given.
              However the biggest WTF concerns their Libertadores campaign. Their scratch team has done brilliantly and topped their group, so are due to play a last-16 match. Except... they appear to have selected a suspended player for their last group game! Said player scored a late winner. If the result is overturned, instead of winning the group, Chape will be eliminated. Unlike the above case, this doesn't sound like one which the authorities can overlook.

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                Bad news from South America

                Chape eventually won it 1-0 and they've made an excellent start to the league season, having drawn 1-1 at Corinthians last week. They've also already won a trophy, the Catarinense State Championship. They've done well to build a competitive team from journeyman players. Wagner Mancini is a smart manager and I think they'll survive in Série A.

                However, Palmeiras, who are struggling with the same tournament congestion, fielded a seriously weakened team ahead of their Libertadores match this week. Chape put out their strongest side -which suggests to me they're not too optimistic about the result of their appeal to Conmebol.

                The scheduling problems are largely the fault of the Brazilian authorities. The overload of low quality, poorly attended state championship matches is well known but in recent years the problem has been exacerbated by the emergence of three regional competitions: the Primeira Liga, the Copa do Nordeste and the Copa Verde. With the exception of the Paulista teams, all the top clubs are involved in one of these.

                So for example, Sport Recife are currently involved in five different competitions:

                Brasileiro Série A
                Copa do Nordeste (first leg of final this week)
                Pernambuco State Championship (second leg of final postponed till June)
                Copa do Brasil
                Copa Sul-americana (where they may be regretting undeservedly scraping through the last round on penalties)

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                  Bad news from South America

                  Janik wrote: However the biggest WTF concerns their Libertadores campaign. Their scratch team has done brilliantly and topped their group, so are due to play a last-16 match. Except... they appear to have selected a suspended player for their last group game! Said player scored a late winner. If the result is overturned, instead of winning the group, Chape will be eliminated. Unlike the above case, this doesn't sound like one which the authorities can overlook.
                  They're third in the group, behind Lanús (the team they beat last week) on goal difference, with a game still to play. That's before the points deduction that should be coming up this week, which would presumably eliminate them (because presumably Lanús would get the points for a win).

                  The weirdest thing about this is that Lanús spotted the error when the teamsheets were handed in and pointed it out to the match officials, who then spoke to Chapecoense about it and got CONMEBOL confirmation that Luiz Otávio couldn't play before kick off. The club president says he took the decision to play him anyway. I just can't understand why they did this, it's idiotic.

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                    Bad news from South America

                    So this is Chape's defence (as far as I can understand it) that they are presenting to Conmebol today.

                    They allege that they hadn't received the email informing them that Luis Otávio was suspended for three games. This was supposedly sent 7 days before the Lanús game. A Conmebol official in the dressing room before the game showed them the judgement on his mobile phone. He also said that, as the team-sheet had already been handed in, Luis Otávio could not be replaced. So they decided to field him anyway as they doubted that the email had really been sent.

                    No, it doesn't sound a particularly strong defence to me either.

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                      Bad news from South America

                      If that's true, then the choice was between fielding ten players away to a strong team in a match they had to win, or taking a gamble that, if they fielded all eleven, CONMEBOL might later turn around and go, 'Oh actually you were right, we didn't send it after all.'

                      I've got to be honest, it's not an easy decision but in that position I'd have taken the risk of playing with ten players. Your chances of at least getting one point (which would have left them mathematically in with a narrow chance of qualifying still, three points behind Lanús going into this week's final group games) would at least be greater than the almost certain walkover that will now be awarded.

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                        Bad news from South America

                        Six months after the disaster, Chape are now top of the league following last night's 2-0 win over Avaí.

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                          Just when you thought that the decisions made by those who run Brazilian football couldn't get any more cretinous...

                          Chapecoense have sacked manager Wagner Mancini after just 6 months in the job.

                          During those 6 months, Mancini has assembled a team composed of young kids and other teams' cast-offs. He has achieved the following:

                          1. Won the Santa Catarina State Championship for only the sixth time in the club's history.

                          2. Led the Brasileirão for the first time in the club's history for three rounds

                          3. Taken the team to the brink of qualification for the knock-out stages of the Libertadores only to be sabotaged by an administrative cock-up by the very people who have just sacked him.

                          He was dismissed on Tuesday after a 3-3 away draw against Fluminense. They took a 3-2 lead playing with 10 men, only to concede an equaliser in the final minute of added time. If they had managed to hold on they would have risen to sixth place in the league.

                          Following the tragedy, Chape are most people's second team in Brazil. That goodwill is rapidly disappearing.
                          Last edited by cantagalo; 06-07-2017, 18:19. Reason: Chapecoense, not chaperones...

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                            Some remarkable good news.

                            Left-back Alan Ruschel, one of the three players who survived the disaster, is close to making a comeback. He may feature in their game against Barcelona in a couple of weeks.

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                              The club just confirmed that he will play in the friendly at the Camp Nou on 7 August

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                                The Barcelona game has started and Chape are 2 down in 10 minutes. I hope they go easy on them.

                                Alan Ruschel is playing and the two other surviving players, Neto and Jackson Follmann, are at the stadium.
                                Last edited by cantagalo; 07-08-2017, 18:56.

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                                  Ends 5-0

                                  Barca applauded the survivors and their teammates onto the pitch, which clearly got to them.

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                                    On Sunday, just over a year after the crash, Chapecoense scored a 95th minute winner to clinch a remarkable 8th place and qualification for next year’s Libertadores.

                                    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jYCEtwrhuoI

                                    The commentator is Rafael Henzel, one of the six survivors of the disaster. He does well to avoid losing it completely.

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                                      Also this weekend, Torino - who of course had a similar tragedy in 1949 - paid their respects by playing their Serie A match against Atalanta in a Chape tribute kit.

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                                        Last Friday, Colombia's Civil Aviation Authority released their report into the crash and confirmed that it was caused by a lack of fuel. The minimum fuel required by international regulations for that flight was 11,603 kilos. They had just 9,300 kilos. The contract stipulated a refuelling stop but the pilot decided to go direct. Lamia was a company in financial difficulties, owing wages to its employees and in a state of administrative disorganisation.

                                        The black box revealed conversations between the pilot and co-pilot. Just an hour after take-off they were worrying about the fuel. The pilot suggests increasing altitude where the air is thinner. They considered stopping to refuel in Bogotá but having spoken to air traffic control and being offered a direct route into Medellin, they made the fatal decision to carry on.

                                        Forty minutes before the crash the fuel light on the dashboard was flashing and the sound alert went off. Their landing at Medellin was delayed by three other incoming flights which were given priority. The mystery is why it was only 10 minutes before the crash that they informed Medellin that they were running out of fuel. A possible reason is that they would have been investigated by the authorities for flying with insufficient fuel and decided to risk it. The plane were 21km short of the airport when it crashed.

                                        This is in Portuguese but is still worth a look for a reconstruction of the flight.

                                        https://globoplay.globo.com/v/6698982/

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                                          I was scouring Netflix this afternoon for something to watch and found this. It's a sensitive account of such a harrowing story.



                                          Chapecoense lasted for three more seasons in S?rie A before their relegation last year.

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                                            Some good news from South America.

                                            Chapecoense secured their return to Serie A at the first time of asking with a 2-1 win over Figueirense.

                                            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=M7LXqYlP9Gs

                                            Their captain is Alan Ruschel, one of the six survivors of the crash.

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                                              That game was a mo-effin goalkeeper CLINIC.

                                              A whole season's worth of amazing saves in just the first half.

                                              Happy for them.

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