The world of football has been sent into deep grief as it is reported on Tuesday that the Brazilian Serie A club Chapecoense players were present in the plane that crashed in Colombia.
Reports are yet to be confirmed about the full scenario of the accident, but it is cleared that the Copa Sudamericana finalists were among the 72 passengers and 9 crews in the plane that was flying from Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia to Medellin in Colombia.
The Serie A side were scheduled to play the final first leg against Atletico Nacional at Medellin’s Estadio Atanasio Girardot on Wednesday.
Reportedly, the plane declared an emergency at 22:00 local time (03:00 GMT). The reason was scripted as apparent power failures before losing contact with the control tower and afterwards the plane is expected to be crashed in Cerro Gordo in the municipality of La Union.
Chapecoense said in their official Facebook page, “Given the conflicting reports emerging from different journalistic sources concerning the crash of the plane carrying the Chapecoense players, the Chapecoense football association through it vice-president, Ivan Tozzo, is refraining from comment and awaiting official announcements from the Colombian air authorities. May God be with our athletes, leaders, journalists and the other guests who are with the delegation.”
Mayor of Medellin, Federico Gutierrez has spoken in an interview that he is looking forward to saving life. “The most important thing is to save lives and we are focused on that”, he mentioned. He has also tweeted earlier that he was on his way where the plane crashed. “The country is connected with this tragedy and solidarity with the families of the victims”, he added.
“The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) confirms that it has been notified by Colombian authorities that the plane on which the Atletico Chapecoense of Brazil delegation suffered an accident on its arrival to Colombia”, an official statement reads. The CONMEBOL family enormously laments what has happened. “All activities of the confederation will remain suspended until further notice”, they declared.
According to the reports, the Medellin airport officials are claiming that just six survivors may have been rescued from the crashed aircraft with very critical condition. The rescue efforts are getting hampered as Colombia has been hit by heavy storms. The incident can be considered as the biggest football disaster ever happened.
Previously, on November 14, 1970, an aircraft crashed into a hill just short of the Tri-State Airport, killing all 75 people on board. The plane was carrying 37 members of the Marshall University Thundering Herd football team, 9 members of the coaching staff, 25 boosters, and 4 flight crew members.
On the other hand, this incident has brought some memories of the Medellin residents back in lights. In 1990, Pablo Escobar of the Medellin drug cartel planned a bombing in plane, expecting it would kill presidential candidate for the 1990 elections César Gaviria Trujillo. Besides that, Andrés Escobar Saldarriaga was a Colombian footballer, who used to play as a defender. Escobar was murdered in the 1994 FIFA World Cup, reportedly for scoring an own goal which caused his team’s elimination from the tournament.
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