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Brazil plane crash team to play again next month

Rio de Janeiro (AFP) – Brazilian football team Chapecoense said Wednesday they will on January 29 play their first match since their squad was all but wiped out in an air crash.

Chapecoense rose from obscurity to make it to the final of the Copa Sudamericana regional tournament, but the crash cut short their dream as they flew to Colombia to play.

The crash on November 28 in the mountains of Colombia killed 71 people, including the team’s key players, staff and management.

Now the side is scheduled to play at home against International de Lage on January 29 in a state championship game, a club official told AFP.

After burying its heroes on December 3, the club has hired a new manager, Vagner Mancini, to rebuild the team in its hometown of Chapeco, in southern Santa Catarina state.

Nine of the club’s first-team players were not on the flight and three miraculously survived the crash.

Two of the players who survived returned to Brazil on Tuesday, including goalkeeper Jakson Follmann, who has had his leg amputated.

The team’s last match was the day before the crash. Palmeiras beat them 1-0 to win the Brazilian league.

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