Chapecoense president: “Before boarding, they said they were going to turn their dreams into reality. The dream ended this morning.” Every true fan of the sport wept as we saw the greatest tragedy of modern football.The plane carrying the Chapecoense football team crashed in Colombia, killing 75 people on board. Alan Ruschel, Jakson Follman and Zampier Neto – survived the crash. The Shotstopper Danilo was reported to have survived the crash but later confirmed dead from his injuries.
Who Are They?
Associação Chapecoense de Futebol, founded in 1973 are based in the town of Chapeco, 450 Km from Porte Alegre. They made a return to Série A in 2014 & have stayed in the top flight since. For a club of Chapecoense’s stature, staying in the top flight with the likes of Santos , Palmeiras , Flamengo is no easy feat. Chapecoense were dubbed the next big thing of Brazilian football as they went from toiling in Série D(2009) to locking horns with the big boys in just 6 years. This year, however, was the highlight of their short but illustrious history as they beat the likes of San Lorenzo( Semi Finals) & Independiente(RO16) to set up a grand finale against Atlético Nacional.
Fifa President Gianni Infantino has expressed his grief at the tragedy. “This is a very, very sad day for football,” Infantino said. “We are so sorry to hear about the airplane crash in Colombia, it is shocking and tragic news. At this difficult time our thoughts are with the victims, their families and friends. FIFA would like to extend its most heartfelt condolences to the fans of Chapecoense, the football community and media organisations concerned in Brazil.”
Clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona, River, Boca, Olimpia, Sarajevo held a minute of silence.
Liverpool Vs Leeds United: A minute’s silence will be held before kick-off tonight, with both clubs wearing black armbands as a mark of respect.
Football, The Beautiful Game
In times like these, we are reminded time and again why football isn’t just a sport. Initial reports claim European giants like Real Madrid & Barcelona are trying to help Chapecoense get back on its feet, financially. The president of Benfica has offered to lend his players to the club. Paris Saint-Germain has supposedly informed FIFA that they’ll donate €40 M to Chapecoense. As Chapecoense mourns the brilliant players they’ve lost, they must start to rebuild. And they’ll need all the help they can get. With a passionate fan base & a steady management, I’m hopeful about their return to glory days.