Two years and 69 years ago respectively, two football teams were in mourning having lost their players in two separate plane crashes that shocked the world.
The first, in May 1949, saw the entire Torino FC team (Then referred to as Grande Torino) killed in a tragic flight as they flew back home following a friendly against Benfica.
So devastating was the crash that a book titled “The day Italian Football Died” was published detailing the crash that killed 18 players and five club officials. There were no survivors that day.
Fast forward to November 2016, where a chartered flight carrying the Brazilian Chapecoense team on their way to play in the Copa Suda Americana Finals crashes in Colombia, killing all but three of the players. It goes without saying that the teams share a special connection, one that can only be understood by their fans, partners and countrymen but that ultimately show the world what it means to rise above despair and strive for something greater.
On Wednesday, Brazilian first division team Chapecoense and Italian Serie A club Torino FC will reunite for a friendly match dubbed SportPesa Cup, televised live on the Torino channel and La7.
The symbolic match, whose proceeds in full will go towards the survivors and families of the Chapecoense players, who died in the plane crash, will be held at Stadio Olimpico Grande in Rome, Italy.
“God gave us a second chance to live therefore we must live life intensely and never forget those who departed,” said a Chapecoense plane crash survivor Jakson Follman, who was one of six survivors of the Lamia flight whose crash.
Two other Chapecoense players, Alan Ruschel and defender Helio Neto, also survived the crash. -SPORTPESA