Alvadir Pelisser said that the team had come a long way since its inception in 1973.
“In 1977 we became champions of Santa Catarina State and it was a great victory and great joy for our fans,” Pelisser, who tuned 80 last Saturday, told Sputnik Brasil.
When asked to single out the highpoints of the club’s 43-year history, Alvadir Pelisser also mentioned the team’s good showing at the national championship and the South American Cup tournament where they left behind two Argentine majors, Independiente and San Lorenzo, heading straight for the final showdown with Colombia.
“Despite this tragedy I want our fans, everyone, to know that Chapecoense is not dead, that we must stick together when the new team is put together. I believe that the team will have a new management and maybe we’ll have to start from the ground up again,” Alvadir Pelisser said in conclusion.
Other clubs' offer support
When asked about the initiative of Atlético Nacional FC to ask the South American Confederation of Football to give the South American Cup to Chapecoense, Alvadir Pelisser said that he had watched that on television and that it would be a sensation for Chapecoence to win that honor.
Chapecoense was to play with in the South American Cup finals.
At least 10 Brazilian clubs have offered to lend their players to Chapecoense so that they can start preparing for the state championship and shine once again in the national championship next year.
“This is an unprecedented thing for Brazil. I’m very glad,” Pelisser said.
Flamengo FC’s chief media spokesman Marcio Culloch said that the entire football community was mourning the victims of Wednesday tragedy.
“All fans of football here in Brazil and elsewhere in the world, were shocked by this sad news. I think that today’s events have already set off a very beautiful wave of compassion and solidarity on the part of all those who love football,” Marcio Culloch said in an interview with Sputnik Brazil.
“Our club is in mourning, our flag is flying at half-mast in a sign of grief and sympathy for those who died,” he said, adding that most of Brazil’s football clubs had posted the Chapecoense club’s emblem on their websites.
“It was a natural reaction. We are all members of one big football family. These people know each other in their everyday life,” Marcio Culloch said.
The memorial ceremony for the victims of Wednesday’s plane crash is scheduled to be held at the Chapecoense club’s stadium on Friday.
The charter plane carrying 81 people, including the entire Chapecoence team and 22 journalists, crashed in Colombia late on Monday. The team was going to the South American Cup final against Atletico Nacional in a game set for Wednesday.