Hundreds of Brazilians in Chapeco gathered at the stadium to pay their respects to their fallen heroes-The Chapecoense Football Team. Many were still in shock, after learning that the members of their beloved team had fallen victim to the tragic plane crash that took place near Madellin, in Columbia, on Tuesday 29th November 2016. Avid football fans were seen weeping, clutching the team’s T-shirts, outside the local stadium, unable to comprehend or bear the sheer magnitude of the tragedy.
There was an overwhelming feeling of loss all over Brazil, as the Chapecoense Football Team was on their way to play, what many have termed, as the greatest game in history- the finals of the Copa Sudamericana, which had been scheduled against their hugely popular rivals, The Medellin team of Atletico Nacional.
Brazilians, recognized for their love of the sport, know just how important the match was. It was only a week ago that the team became the 1st Brazilian Team to become eligible to play in the finals of the Copa Sudamericana. Many in the team had commented that the biggest highlight of their careers and the year’s football season was the finals of the Copa Sudamericana. The club’s jubilation knew no bounds, as was evident from the many posts on Social Media sites like Twitter and Facebook.
Unfortunately, it was a dream that was short-lived.
The tragic plane crash has claimed 71 lives, out of the 77 that were on board. Columbian aviation officials have pinpointed a faulty electrical circuit, as the main culprit behind the crash. Out of the 77 people on board, only six have survived the crash. There are reports that two of the survivors are footballers- Jackson Follman (reserve goalkeeper) and Alan Ruschel (defender). Both are said to be in a state of shock from the incident.
As a mark of respect, the footballers from the Atletico Nacional have requested the organizers to award the cup to the Chapecoense team.