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'a posthumous homage'

After 19 members killed in plane crash, Chapecoense soccer team declared South American cup champion

On Monday, the Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense was named the winner of the South American cup, after many of its players were killed in a plane crash last week. The Chapecoense team was en route to its final match against Medellin's Atletico Nacional team when the plane went down Monday, killing more than 70 people, including 19 of the Brazilian team's players.

The South American Football Confederation's announcement Monday followed a letter sent by Atletico Nacional on Nov. 30 requesting the rival team be named champion "as a laurel honoring their great loss and as a posthumous homage to the victims of the fatal accident that our sport is still mourning."

Brazil's other top club soccer teams have also reached out in the wake of the tragedy. Players have offered to play for the Chapecoense team and clubs have requested the team be "safeguarded from relegation from the top flight for the next three seasons," The Guardian reported.

Only three members of the team survived the crash. Though authorities have confirmed the plane had run out of fuel when it crashed, the incident remains under investigation.