Sunday 21 January 2018

Chapecoense plane crash: Brazilian sports channel airs 90 minutes of silence in Copa Sudamericana final slot

The message shown during the broadcast on Fox Sports Brasil
The message shown during the broadcast on Fox Sports Brasil

Mark Critchley

A Brazilian television channel broadcasted 90 minutes of silence on Wednesday night as a tribute to those who died in the Chapecoense plane crash.

71 people, including players, coaches and staff from the Brazilian club, perished when LaMia Bolivia Airlines Flight 2933 crashed in Medellin, Colombia on Monday night.

Chapecoense were travelling to play the first leg of their final against Atletico Nacional in the Copa Sudamericana, South American football’s equivalent of the Europa League.

All competitive football on the continent has been suspended for an indefinite period of time following the tragedy.

Fox Sports Brasil, which was scheduled to broadcast Wednesday’s final live, instead aired 90 minutes of silence in the time slot in memory of those who lost their lives.

The channel showed only a black screen with a running game clock and the message “#90minutosdesilencio”.

A message posted on the channel’s official Twitter account read: “In that moment so difficult, every message and as an embrace. Thank you.”

Six Fox Sports journalists - Deva Pascovicci, Mario Sergio, Paulo Julio Clement, Victorino Chermont, Rodrigo Santana and Lilacio Junior - were among the dead.

Profiles of each of the journalists were shown during ‘half-time’ in the broadcast.

At the Atanasio Girardot in Medellin, the stadium in which the match was scheduled to be played, supporters filled the stands and the surrounding streets to sing Chapecoense songs, light candles and pay their respects.

Brazil's top-flight clubs have offered to send players on loan to Chapecoense free of charge.

Corinthians, Sao Paolo, Santos, Palmeiras and others have also requested that their fellow Serie A club be made exempt from relegation from the division for the next three seasons.

Investigators from Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia - the country from which the plane took off - and the UK - the country in which it was manufactured - will now attempt to determine the exact cause of the crash.

Initial reports have suggested that the plane suffered from fuel exhaustion, as the distance between the two airports slightly exceeded the maximum range of the aircraft.

Independent News Service

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