Join the conversation:

Fans and families pay tribute to Brazil's Chapecoense soccer club

Fans and families pay tribute to Brazil's Chapecoense soccer club

Posted by PanamericanWorld on November 30, 2016

Hundreds of fans and family members gathered Tuesday around Arena Conda stadium, the home field of Brazil's Chapecoense club, in a kind of vigil for the soccer players, managers and journalists who died when the team's plane crashed en Colombia.

The misty rain that fell Tuesday morning on the small city of Chapeco in the southern state of Santa Catarina did not keep the Arena Conda from becoming a meeting place for the distressed fans and families of the victims hoping to find out what happened.

The fans, many wearing the green T-shirt of the Chapecoense club, arrived with candles and flowers to the stadium next to the team's clubhouse to pay tribute to the victims.

Chapecoense chartered a plane for the flight to Medellin, Colombia, to play in the Copa Sudamerica final against Atletico Nacional.

The plane had departed from Brazil on Monday afternoon, making a stopover at Viru Viru airport in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, and was headed to Medellin, where it reported an emergency due to electrical difficulties to the Aerocivil control tower.

The plane was carrying 22 Chapecoense soccer team players; 28 management staff, technical team members and special guests; 22 journalists and nine crew members.

The death toll of the crash among passengers and crew now stands at 71.

Chapecoense's few surviving managers had to improvise a system of attending to the victims' families while keeping updated the hundreds of people crowding around the Arena Conda.

Family members were received in a special room, where they were looked after by doctors and psychologists, while the fans were kept outside and did not hide their displeasure.

The club's eight soccer players who did not make the trip, and who came together in the stadium's locker rooms after hearing the news, also received special attention.

Club management still has not opened the gates to the stadium since it has not been determined whether it will be used for an act of homage to the victims or when such an ceremony would take place.

While awaiting a possible opening of the gates, the fans wandered around the parking lots at the Events Center singing songs of support and offering prayers for the victims.

The air of sadness hanging over this small city of 200,000 inhabitants, where its soccer club was held in such esteem, was visible not only around the stadium but throughout a city that was practically shut down and whose City Hall officially declared three days of mourning, closed public school classrooms and canceled events related to Christmas and New Year's.

One of the partners who founded Chapecoense in 1973 spoke to EFE about the tragedy.

"This has been a tremendous blow. I'm very sad, but life is full of surprises," Alvadir Pelisser said.

Link To Full Article: 

Facebook comments



Monthly newsletter featuring articles hand picked by our country managers from the best content across PanamericanWorld.



Monthly newsletter featuring articles hand picked by our country managers from the best content across the Caribbean Region on PanamericanWorld.

PANAMERICANWORLD COUNTRIES