The Brazilian football team, Chapecoense, played their first game since the plane crash that killed most of the team. Whilst it was an horrific tragedy, what has happened since has been a total credit to how beautiful the footballing game can be.

What happened?

On 29th November 2016, Chapecoense were on their way to Colombia to play in the final of the Copa Sudamericana. BBC news reported that the plane lost contact with the ground controllers as it approached its destination after the pilot reported an electrical fault. It came down in a mountainous area.

Seventy-one people, including 19 players and staff, were killed. Among the six survivors was the goalkeeper Jackson Follmann, who had his leg amputated.

The aftermath

In the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, the footballing world came together to mourn. Thousands of fans gathered at the Chapecoense stadium to pay their respects, with giant screens allowing those outside the ceremony to watch those inside. As a result of the disaster, the football club were awarded the Copa Sudamericana trophy, a move backed by the Colombian side Atletico Nacional, the team they were scheduled to play in the final. In addition, Chapecoense received $2 million in prize money. Further on from that was the support and offers from those around them.

First of all former footballers Ronaldinho and Juan Roman Riquelme offered their services to the team if needed. Ronaldinho's brother and agent Roberto Assis even stated that "it is a very difficult time" and that "I can only say that we are here and we want to help", as reported on the Distractify website. Second of all a number of Brazil's top clubs, including Santos, Corinthians, Sao Paolo and Palmeiras have requested that Chapecoense be granted "immunity" from relegation for the next three seasons and vowed to send free loan players during the 2017 season.

In an attempt to rebuild the side, sporting director Rui Costa has recruited 22 players, mostly on loan, and has appointed a new manager, Vagner Mancini. Their first game since the crash ended 2-2.

Never forget

Whilst we criticise the negative aspects of the game, such as greed and playacting, what we can never forget is the good.

The way that the world has come together in light of the tragedy touches the hearts of us all. We will never forget what happened, nor will we ever forget the love and support offered to those suffering. It is another illustration of just how beautiful the beautiful game can be.