Thursday 19 April 2018

South American football suspended after Brazilian team players among 76 dead

(Photo: Twitter)
(Photo: Twitter)

Jack de Menezes

All South American football has been suspended until further notice by the South American Football Confederation [Conmebol] after a plane carrying members of Brazilian football team Chapecoense Atletico de Brazil crashed in Colombia, it has been confirmed.

Conmebol released a short statement on Tuesday morning to confirm the suspension and express it’s sadness over the incident.

The statement read: “The South American Football Confederation confirms that it has been notified by Colombian authorities that the plane in which the team of Chapecoense Atlético de Brasil was travelling suffered an accident upon arrival in Colombia. We are in contact with the authorities and pending official progress."#

Conmebol also confirmed that president Alejandro Dominguez is travelling to Medellin near the scene of the plane crash. Authorities confirmed that 81 people were travelling on the flight when it crashed in a mountain range near Medellin amid poor conditions. The country's civil aviation authority said ambulances and emergency workers had arrived at the scene.

Colombian Police have confirmed that 76 people have died in the air disaster, with five survivors taken to hospital with injuries. The crash occurred between 10pm local time [03:00 GMT] and midnight [05:00 GMT, according to various reports in South America, with the flight leaving Bolivia’s Santa Cruz airport at 18:18 local time [22:18 GMT]

Medellin's Mayor Federico Gutierrez also said it is possible there are survivors.

"It's a tragedy of huge proportions," Gutierrez told Blu Radio.

Chapecoense are currently ninth in the Brazilian Serie A, and were flying to Colombia ahead of their South American Cup final against Atletico Nacional in the Colombian city of Medellin on Wednesday.

Chapecoense suffered a 1-0 defeat in Serie A on Sunday that saw opponents Palmeiras crowned Brazilian league champions.

The club released a statement and said that it will wait for confirmation of the accident details before commenting further, given that various news sources were giving different information.

"Chapecoense Football Club, through its vice-president Ivan Tozzo, reserves the right to wait for the official announcement from the Colombian air authority, in order to issue any official note about the accident.

"God be with our athletes, management, journalists and other guests who are with the delegation."

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