Brazilian authorities waive Chapecoense fine for failing to play final match (updated)

Update: Following Sunday night’s reports of the sanction, the Superior Court of Sports Justice issued a statement on Monday that they will not enforce fines against Chapecoense or Atletico Mineiro for failing to play the final match of the season, though the match will still count as a loss for both teams. The original article is below:

Chapecoense, the club that lost most of its players in a devastating plane crash, faces a fine for failing to compete in the final round of Brazil’s Serie A.

Brazilian sporting authorities found that per the country’s no-show policy, Chapecoense will be sanctioned 100,000 Brazilian reais, which is about $30,000, according to ESPN Deportes. Chape’s opponent, Atletico Mineiro, also faces the same fine. The two sides were supposed to face off on Sunday in the last round of Brazil’s Serie A competition.

Both teams were also punished with a 3-0 loss for failing to show up, although it didn’t impact either team much. Chape finished the competition in 11th place on 52 points while Mineiro finished in fourth on 62 points, nine points back from the third-placed team.

It is possible that Brazil’s soccer governing body can step in and appeal to get the sanction reversed. In fact, it seems like a good bet that they will, particularly after the controversy caused when they had initially insisted Chape compete in the match.

Marco Polo Del Nero, the head of the Brazilian Football Federation, had ordered Chapecoense to play their fixture vs. Mineiro, despite most of the team being killed in the plane crash, by using junior players. He was heavily criticized by the public for his stance at a time when he couldn’t afford to lose any good will. Del Nero has been indicted by American authorities on corruption charges, although he has not been extradited and has not left Brazil due to fears of being arrested.

Atletico Mineiro, however, agreed that the match should not be played and their club’s president later said they had convinced Del Nero the match should not be played.

A plane carrying Chapecoense to the Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional crashed in Colombia after running out of fuel two weeks ago. While six people survived – including defender Helio Hermito Zampier Neto, who doctors say will make a full recovery and defender Alan Ruschel, who is able to walk again after spine surgery – 71 were killed, including 19 players for Chape.