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Dublin: 7°C Tuesday 20 April 2021
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Chapeco is 'in tears' as the football world wakes up to devastating news

The Brazilian club’s vice president says the city of 200,000 people is struggling to come to terms with the incomprehensible events.

THE VICE PRESIDENT of Chapecoense has said the Brazilian city is ‘in tears’ after a charter flight carrying the team crashed as it approached Medellín International Airport in Colombia.

The Brazilian first division side were scheduled to play the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional at Medellin’s Estadio Atanasio Girardot on Wednesday.

But, the plane, carrying 72 passengers and nine crew, came down en route from Santa Cruz de la Sierra with officials since confirming 76 people on board lost their life.

One of the survivors was confirmed as defender Alan Ruschel while local media reports say goalkeepers Jackson Follman and Marcos Danilo may have survived.

Ivan Tozzo, the club’s vice president, told SporTV: “We are very sad, gathered here in the locker room of our stadium. We are still waiting for news. All our board is there, our players. We have nothing concrete on their state.

“There are a lot of people crying in our city, we could never imagine this. Chapecoense is the biggest reason for joy here. We hope there are many survivors, at least that most of them are OK.”

This should have been the most glorious week in the club’s short history but instead it has turned into the most incomprehensible nightmare.

As the football world woke up to the devastating news, clubs around the world have expressed their sympathies to those affected by the tragedy.

“I express my solidarity in this sad hour during which tragedy has beset dozens of Brazilian families,” Brazilian president Michel Temer said in a statement.

“The government will do all it can to alleviate the pain of the friends and family of sport and national journalism.”

The South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) said it was suspending ‘all activities.’

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Who are Chapecoense, the Brazilian team whose fairytale season turned into a tragedy?

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Ryan Bailey

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