Chapecoense to sign up 20 players ahead of the new season

Brazilian side Chapecoense will sign up to 20 new players for next season and reserve shirt numbers for the players who survived a plane crash.

Nineteen players and coaching staff were killed in November when their plane crashed on the way to the final of the Copa Sudamericana.

The club were awarded the trophy, with Colombian opponents Atletico Nacional given a fair play award.

“We are resorting to a lot of loans,” said director of football Rui Costa.

“That is a tool for bringing together quality, speed and budget. Many clubs are being partners in this.”

Centre-back Neto and full-back Alan Ruschel survived and Costa said they “expect” the two players to come back and wear the shirts. Reserve goalkeeper Jackson Follmann also lived but had to have part of his leg amputated.

“No player this season will use the shirts that were worn by Jackson Follmann, Neto or Alan Ruschel,” Costa said.

“More than a tribute, we expect Alan and Neto to come back and wear them. Follmann sadly won’t be able to but he will certainly be back here with us in some capacity.”

Chapecoense, who begin pre-season training on Friday, start the domestic season on 26 January with a home game against Joinville.

They have rejected proposals that would have meant they could not be relegated for three years.

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