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Barcelona invite Chapecoense to play friendly

Barcelona and Mönchengladbach players held a minute silence in memory of the Chapecoense players and officials who died. PHOTO/RTE.

Barcelona and Mönchengladbach players held a minute silence in memory of the Chapecoense players and officials who died. PHOTO/RTE.

BARCELONA, Spain, Dec 8- Barcelona have invited tragedy-hit Chapecoense to play in a pre-season friendly next summer.

The Spanish champions have formally asked the Brazilian club if they wish to take part in the Joan Gamper Trophy, an annual match between Barca and an invited opponent at the Nou Camp.

Barca say they want to pay tribute and help with the “institutional and sporting reconstruction” of Chapecoense following last month’s plane crash which killed 71 people, including 19 players.

A Barca statement read:  “Barcelona has agreed to invite to the next edition of the Joan Gamper Trophy the Brazilian team Chapecoense, who were the victims of the tragic plane crash when on the way to play the final of the Copa Sudamericana in Colombia on 28 November.

“Barcelona wants to pay tribute to the 71 people who died in the accident and their families, and will therefore make the 2017 Joan Gamper Trophy a great tribute to the world of football through various activities around this match which will become known as the date of this celebration approaches.

“Along with the invitation to Chapecoense to the 2017 Joan Gamper Trophy, Barcelona would like to collaborate on the institutional and sporting reconstruction of the club, and help to recover the competitive level that it had.

“Barcelona has today sent a formal letter of invitation to the current board of directors of Chapecoense.”

The jet carrying the Chapecoense team, along with club officials and journalists, to Medellin for the Copa Sudamericana final against Colombian side Atletico Nacional came down late on Monday, 28 November.

Just three of the team – defender Alan Luciano Ruschel, reserve goalkeeper Jackson Ragnar Follmann and centre-back Helio Hermito Zampier Neto – were named among only six survivors of the crash.

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The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) this week declared Chapecoense Copa Sudamericana champions 2016.

By RTE

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