Brazil declares three days of mourning for soccer team killed in plane crash

November 30, 2016 10:37

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Dushanbe, 30.11.2016. /NIAT “Khovar”/.  Brazilians on Tuesday mourned the loss of an up-and-coming soccer team that was among the victims of a plane crash late Monday. Brazilian team Chapecoense was heading to a championship final in Medellin, Colombia, when the LMI2933 charter flight carrying a total of 81 passengers went down just kilometers from the destination airport.

According to Brazil’s G1 news website, six people were believed to have survived, including three football players, two members of the flight crew, and a sports reporter. As many as 21 journalists accompanying the team were killed.

Dressed in the club’s green colors, relatives of players and fans of Chapecoense, which was to play the first final match of the South American Cup on Wednesday, gathered at the team’s stadium to receive news and grieve.

Brazil’s President Michel Temer declared three days of mourning and offered assistance to the families of the victims.
World soccer body FIFA, Brazil’s Soccer Confederation (CBF) and the South American Soccer Confederation (Conmebol) all issued statements lamenting the tragedy and offering condolences.

The South American Cup was suspended until further notice, and all matches of three tournaments taking place in Brazil have been suspended for a week.

Long a minor team, Chapecoense had recently ascended to Brazil’s premier league. Last year, the team’s performance earned it a spot to play in the 2016 South American Cup.

It was only the second time that it had qualified to compete in an international tournament, after also qualifying for the 2015 South American Cup, where it lost in the quarterfinals to Argentinian team River Plate.

The plane had taken off from Sao Paulo, Brazil and made a stop over in Bolivia before heading on to Medellin.

Recovery efforts continued. Officials said it was not immediately known why the plane crashed, but two black boxes have been recovered, Colombia’s Caracol News reported.

November 30, 2016 10:37

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