Brazil mourns after plane crash decimates club team


November 30, 2016
Fans of Brazil's soccer team Chapecoense gather at the Arena Conda stadium in Chapeco, Brazil, yesterday. A chartered plane that was carrying the team to the biggest match of its history crashed into a Colombian hillside and broke into pieces, killing over 70 people and leaving six survivors, Colombian officials said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
In this November 23 photo, Cleber Santana, of Brazil's Chapecoense, runs on the pitch during a Copa Sudamericana semifinal football match against Argentina's San Lorenzo in Chapeco, Brazil. Santana is reported to be among those who died in the crash.

Fans of Brazilian first division club Chapecoense are still trying to cope with the death of the majority of the team in a plane crash in Colombia late Monday night.

The team was scheduled to play today in the first of a two-game Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional of Medellin.

The team issued a brief statement after the crash on its Facebook page.

"May God accompany our athletes, officials, journalists and other guests traveling with our delegation," it read.

The team said it would refrain from any further statements until it had fully evaluated the extent of the crash.

Colombian aviation authorities 71 persons had died after investigations revealed four fewer people were aboard the aircraft than originally reported.

Officials tell The Associated Press that Luciano Buligon, Gelson Luiz Merisio, Plinio de Nes Filho and Ivan Carlos Agnoletto didn't board the flight in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

But they were listed on the plane's passenger list. None of the four were players for the Brazilian soccer team that was being carried to a game on the charter flight.

Brazilian President Michel Temer declared three days of official mourning for victims.

He also said Brazilian Air Force planes have been made available for relatives of victims to travel to Colombia and for the transfer of the bodies to Brazil.

work financially

Some of Brazil's top clubs say they want to give players to Chapecoense on a free loan for the 2017 season.

They also say the club should not be relegated to the second division for three years as it recovers from the disaster.

Details of how this would work financially were not immediately floated.

In further homage, Brazilian champion Palmeiras has made a request to the Brazilian Football Confederation to wear Chapecoense's jersey in its last match of the season.

Reaction has been pouring in from all over the world. Barcelona and Real Madrid held a minute of silence before their practice sessions in honour of the victims.

Real Madrid also released a statement expressing its "condolences to relatives and friends of the victims" and "wishing an early recovery for the survivors".

Atletico Madrid used Twitter to send its condolences to the victims' relatives. One of Chapecoense's players on the plane was midfielder Cleber Santana, who played for Atletico from 2007 to 2010.

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