Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense, heading for the biggest game in their history, were on board a plane carrying 81 people that crashed in Colombia killing 76 people, police said on Tuesday. Chapecoense, from Brazil’s top league, had been flying to face Atletico Nacional of Medellin in the first leg of Wednesday’s Sudamericana final, South America’s equivalent of the Europa League.
Footballing world expressed grief and offered its condolences.
Brazil and Barcelona star Neymar said on Instagram, “Impossible to believe this tragedy, impossible to believe this event. Impossible to believe that the plane crashed, impossible to believe that athletes, humans were on this plane, impossible to believe that these people left their families .. THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE TO BELIEVE !!! Today the world cries, but heaven rejoices in receiving Champions. My feelings to all family and friends 😥😓😢😭 STRENGTH CHAPE. (sic)”
Impossível acreditar nessa tragédia, impossível acreditar no ocorrido, impossível acreditar que o avião caiu, impossível acreditar que atletas, seres humanos estavam nesse avião, impossível acreditar que essas pessoas deixaram suas famílias .. é IMPOSSÍVEL ACREDITAR!!! Hoje o Mundo chora, mas o céu se alegra em receber Campeões. Meus sentimentos a todos os familiares e amigos 😥😓😢😭 FORÇA CHAPE 👊🏽🙏🏽🙌🏽
The Barcelona squad held a minute’s silence.
England captain and Manchester United star Wayne Rooney joined in.
Sad news to wake up to today. Thoughts are with @ChapecoenseReal and their family and friends.— Wayne Rooney (@WayneRooney) November 29, 2016
Argentina and Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero also took to Twitter.
India’s Sunil Chhetri and Bhaichung Bhutia also expressed grief.
Thoughts and prayers with the families of all on that ill-fated flight. Hope and pray there are stories of survivors.— Sunil Chhetri (@chetrisunil11) November 29, 2016
Legends Luis Figo, Cafu and Brazil president Michel Temer stood in support.
O governo fará todo o possível para aliviar a dor dos amigos e familiares do esporte e do jornalismo nacional.#ForçaChape— Michel Temer (@MichelTemer) November 29, 2016
But most potent remains Chapecoense’s tribute. The club changed its insignia from green to black following the tragedy.