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 By Ian Holyman

Paris Saint-Germain deny €40m donation to Chapecoense after crash

Paris Saint-Germain have denied speculation that they have donated €40 million to Brazilian football club Chapecoense, who lost 19 players in a plane crash on Monday.

Following the disaster in Colombia, in which 71 people died, rumours began circulating on social media that PSG had pledged a significant sum of money.

But a club spokesperson told AFP: "PSG formally denies this rumour.

"It just showed its solidarity with the victims and a minute of silence was organised before training. Another will be held before the game against Angers on Wednesday, as asked for by the French Football League."

Atletico Nacional, the Colombian club Chapecoense had been due to face in the Copa Sudamericana final, have asked that the title be awarded to the Brazilian club without a ball being kicked.

"It's very, very tough," Nice's Brazilian defender Dante, a former teammate of victim Filipe Machado at Juventude, told his club's official website.

"I had a friend on the plane. I want to present my sincere condolences to everyone, to all the families.

"It's not easy to explain. There is nothing to do other than to pray for the families."

Montpellier captain Vitorino Hilton began his career at Chapecoense, based in the southern city of Chapeco, and told L'Equipe he would always be grateful to the club for giving him his chance.

"I was playing in my local neighbourhood in Brasilia, in the street. I didn't have a club. And then one day, someone saw me. I was 17," he said.

"They gave me a trial at Chapecoense, and I did well. Thanks to them, I'm where I am today.

"They welcomed me very warmly, they did everything for me. There wasn't a lot of money, it was a small club, but I was happy to be there. I owe them a huge amount."

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