Chapecoense accept Barcelona friendly invitation

The Brazilian side will participate in the 2017 Joan Gamper Trophy, usually played in August, as the sole invitee for the pre-season event

Chapecoense have accepted Barcelona invitation for a friendly game, club president Ivan Pozzo has confirmed.

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The Spanish giants offered to host the Brazilian outfit to pay tribute to the 71 people who died in the tragic air disaster in late November.

The football world has rushed to offer Chapecoense help in the wake of the tragedy, with the Brazil national team playing Colombia in January to raise money for those affected, and Barcelona are keen to assist in the club's recovery.

Chapecoense will now take part in the 2017 Joan Gamper Trophy, becoming the first Brazilian club other than Santos to take part in 25 years.

"It is a great joy for us and we thank Barcelona for inviting us. It will be a privilege and a great pleasure to go play in Europe," Ivan Tozzo told RAC1.

The Joan Gamper Trophy, once a four-team tournament but now a one-game event, is named after one of the club's founders and is usually played in early August.

Chapecoense will return to action in Brazil on January 25 when they face Joinville in the Brazilian Serie A.