By Ciara Long, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A “friendly” football (soccer) match will take place between Brazil and Colombia’s national teams on January 25, 2017 in Rio’s Nilton Santos Stadium, better known as Engenhão, the Brazilian Confederation of Football (CFB) has announced.
The match will take place as a symbolic gesture of solidarity between the two countries in memory of the Chapecoense tragedy. The plane crash carrying the Chapecoense football team, who had been quickly rising through the ranks and were among the underdog favorites to win the Copa Sul America tournament, occurred on November 30th.
Brazilian football feature Edu Gaspar, who this year accepted the position of Seleção coordinator with the CFB, has said that due to the specific nature of the friendly match’s aims, he will select only players from Brazilian teams rather than international Brazilian footballers.
“Because it is not a FIFA date, we will work with players of Brazilian teams,” said Gaspar in a statement from the CFB. “It’s a game organized for a very specific reason, and I hope we can help those families that have suffered such a loss.”
Coach of the national team, Tite, sees Gaspar’s initiative as an opportunity to show off some of Brazil’s best national football talent and help with selections for the country’s 2018 World Cup Qualifier team.
“Of course it is a match with a special character, but we will take advantage to more closely watch some players who did not have opportunity in other competitions. It will be a good laboratory for some doubts,” Tite said.
The CFB has confirmed that the friendly match will take place at 9:45 PM. Tickets will be available for purchase from January 9th, and further details regarding players and training will be available in early January.
Seventy-one were killed in the crash when the plane ran out of fuel close to Medellín, Colombia. There were only six survivors, including three members of the Chapecoense team. Proceeds from tickets will go towards supporting the families of the victims.