Plane crash terminates Brazilian football team, shocks LatAm, soccer world

Added On November 30, 2016

 RIO DE JANEIRO, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Latin America and the world of soccer were shaken Tuesday by a tragic plane crash in Colombia that killed almost an entire Brazilian football team.

A total of 71 people were killed in the accident late Monday near the northwest city of Medellin, including some 20 sports writers who were flying with the team, Chapecoense, to cover its match in the South American Cup.
The death toll was previously reported as 75 but later was revised to 71 by local authority.
Six people survived the crash, including three football players, two members of the flight crew, and a sports reporter.
Dressed in the club's green colors, fans of Chapecoense, which was to play the cup's first final match on Wednesday against Medellin's Atletico Nacional, began to gather early in the day at the team's Arena Conda stadium to grieve.
As night fell, fans were still streaming into the stadium for a vigil.
Brazilian President Michel Temer declared three days of mourning and offered assistance to the families of the victims.
World soccer body FIFA, Brazil's Soccer Confederation and the South American Soccer Confederation (Conmebol) all issued statements lamenting the tragedy and offering condolences.
Conmebol suspended all confederation events until further notice.
Long a minor team, Chapecoense had recently ascended to Brazil's premier league. It qualified to play in the South American Cup for the first time in 2015, though it lost in the quarterfinals to Argentinian team River Plate.
According to Colombia's Caracol News website, Chapecoense's coach had only six days ago said, "If I were to die today, I would die happy."
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said via Twitter, "We lament the accident of the plane that was carrying Chapecoense. Solidarity with the families of the victims and with Brazil."
Flight 2933, operated by South American carrier Lamia, which is at least partly Bolivian-owned, crashed moments before it was scheduled to land in Medellin. It took off from the Viru Viru International Airport in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.
Six of the eight-member Bolivian crew were killed in the crash, Bolivia's government said.
According to Medellin's Jose Maria Cordova airport, the crew reported electrical failures to the control tower moments before crashing.
Officials said they do not yet know why the plane crashed, but two black boxes have been recovered, Caracol News reported.
International football figures lamented the tragic accident.
Argentina's legendary ex-footballer Diego Armando Maradona expressed his "condolences to the families of the Chapecoense team" on his Facebook page.
Fellow Argentinian footballers Lionel Messi, of Barcelona, and Sergio "Kun" Aguero, of Manchester City, also expressed their sorrow. Aguero said he was "shaken and saddened by the tragedy."
The Argentine Football Association announced it was suspending a friendly against Uruguay's under-20 team slated for Tuesday afternoon.
Teams in other parts of the world observed a minute of silence.
Colombian team Atletico Nacional called on Conmebol to crown Chapecoense the champion of the South American Cup.
"Atletico Nacional invites Conmebol to give the South American Cup title to Chapecoense as an honorary award for their great loss and as a posthumous tribute to the victims," the team said in a statement.