Home / News / Brazilian Serie A team Chapecoense involved in plane crash in Colombia

Brazilian Serie A team Chapecoense involved in plane crash in Colombia

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A plane carrying 77 people, including a top Brazilian football team, has crashed on its approach to the city of Medellin in Colombia.

Colombia’s civil aviation body says only six people survived the crash, blamed on an electrical fault.

The chartered aircraft, flying from Brazil via Bolivia, was carrying members of the Chapecoense team.

The team were flying to what was billed as the biggest match in their history – the final of the Copa Sudamericana, against Medellin team Atletico Nacional.

Their opponents, Colombian team Atletico Nacional, have offered to concede the game to ensure Chapecoense are declared the champions.

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A young boy mourns the team at their stadium in Chapeco – many more have gathered outside

In a tweet, the club also asked that fans to turn up to their stadium at the time which the game was scheduled, dressed in white.

In a joint statement, Brazilian first division football teams have offered to lend players to Chapecoense free of charge, and asked the league to protect the club from relegation for the next three years.

Several leading footballers, from Barcelona stars Lionel Messi and Neymar, to Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney, have also paid tribute to the players, who had become an unlikely success story in recent years.

Colombian aviation officials said there were also 21 journalists on board, and that both flight recorders have been recovered.

What happened?

Wreckage from a plane that crashed into Colombian jungle with Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense, is seen near Medellin, Colombia, November 29, 2016. REUTERS/Fredy Builes TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Wreckage from a plane that crashed into Colombian jungle with Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense, is seen near Medellin, Colombia, November 29, 2016.

The plane lost contact with ground controllers as it approached Medellin at about 22:15 (03:45 GMT), after the pilot reported an electrical fault. It came down in a mountainous area.

At least two of the survivors are footballers. They were confirmed to be defender Alan Ruschel and reserve goalkeeper Jackson Follman.

Who are Chapecoense? – Luis Barrucho, BBC Brasil

Shortly before boarding in Sao Paulo, Chapecoense manager Cadu Gaucho, 36, appeared in a video posted on the team’s Facebook site [in Portuguese] describing the trip to Medellin as “the club’s most important to date”.

Playing in the final of the Copa Sudamericana was to be the highlight of a glorious season for the team from a small city of less than 200,000 inhabitants in the state of Santa Catarina.

Founded in 1973, the team has been playing in Brazil’s Serie A since only 2014 but is currently ninth ahead of much more famous and established teams such as Sao Paulo, Fluminense and Cruzeiro.

Last week, it became the first Brazilian team in three years to make it to the final of the Copa Sudamericana, South America’s second most important club competition, after beating Argentine side San Lorenzo.

One of the founders of the club, Alvadir Pelisser, told BBC Brasil the tragedy had put an “end to everyone’s dream”. “We were a family, I’m shocked,” he added.

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