Chapecoense relegated from Brazil top tier three years on from tragic plane crash

Marquinhos Santos promised Chapecoense fans that the club would recover after its relegation from Brazil's top tier was confirmed.

Chapecoense goalkeeper Joao Ricardo looks dejected after the 1-0 defeat to Botafogo which confirmed the club's relegation from Brazil's top tier.   -  Getty Images

Chapecoense coach Marquinhos Santos apologised to fans after it was relegated from the Brasileirao three years on from a tragic plane crash that devastated the club.

Wednesday's 1-0 defeat at home to Botafogo confirmed Chapecoense will drop out of Brazil's top flight, six years after its promotion from Serie B.

The club's relegation came almost three years to the day after the plane carrying players, staff and journalists to Colombia for the Copa Sudamericana final crashed, killing 71 of the 77 people on board.

Marquinhos, who took charge in September, felt the writing had long been on the wall for Chape despite back-to-back 1-0 wins giving it some hope prior to Wednesday's loss.

"I have to apologise to the fans," he said. "The people who work here are good professionals. It's a reconstruction of the true Chapecoense - that's the feeling I have.

"I'm sure Chapecoense will return to the national stage much stronger.

"We've failed to do many things in the competition. It's a competition that doesn't allow you to make as many mistakes as we did.

READ | Suarez tells Dembele and doctors to solve Barcelona winger's injury problems

"We knew our responsibility in today's game and we were not competent enough to give some hope. It's sad. It's a situation brought about by many games.

"Chapecoense did not go down today - they started going down after the first round [of matches] because of the mistakes we made. Now, we have to review the whole process, restart and recover."

Founded in 1973 in Santa Catarina, Chapecoense's finest accomplishment was reaching the Copa Sudamericana final in 2016.

It was awarded the trophy by CONMEBOL, a decision backed by opponents Atletico Nacional, amid an outpouring of support from the football world in the wake of the plane crash.

Barcelona staged the Joan Gamper Trophy match against Chape to help with its efforts to rebuild the team, while a number of Brasileirao sides offered to loan players for free to help them complete the domestic season.

Chape finished 11th in 2016 and eighth a year later, before dropping to 14th in 2018.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :