Pele, Neymar lead tributes following Chapecoense tragedy

Updated: Nov 30, 2016, 22:51 IST | PA Sport

World Cup winner Pele led the messages of condolence for Chapecoense after the air disaster which killed almost all the Brazilian club’s playing squad and coaching staff on board


Pele and Neymar

Colombia: World Cup winner Pele led the messages of condolence for Chapecoense after the air disaster which killed almost all the Brazilian club’s playing squad and coaching staff on board.

It is thought 75 out of the 81 passengers and crew on Chapecoense’s charter flight to the Colombian city of Medellin died following the crash late on Monday night, with 22 journalists also among the travelling party.

Final journey
Chapecoense were on their way to play in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional, which had been due to take place today evening.

Pele, who helped Brazil win the World Cup three times between 1958 and 1970, offered his solace to all those affected. He wrote on his Twitter page: “Brazilian football is in mourning. It is such a tragic loss. My sincere condolences to the families of the deceased. Rest in peace.”

Current Brazil international Neymar, the Barcelona forward, said the news was “impossible to believe”.

Fans mourn the death of players of Brazilian side Chapecoense at the club’s Arena Conda Stadium yesterday. PIC/GETTY IMAGES
Fans mourn the death of players of Brazilian side Chapecoense at the club’s Arena Conda Stadium yesterday. PIC/GETTY IMAGES

A post on his official Instagram account read: “It’s impossible to believe this tragedy, impossible to believe what happened, impossible to believe that the plane crashed, impossible to believe that athletes, human beings were on this plane, impossible to believe that these people left their families..... Today the world cries, but heaven rejoices in receiving Champions.”

Lionel Messi added on his Facebook page: “My deepest condolences go to all of the families, friends and supporters of the Associacao Chapecoense de Futebol squad.”

Fans attend a mass offered in memory of Chapecoense’s deceased players. PIC/AFP
Fans attend a mass offered in memory of Chapecoense’s deceased players. PIC/AFP

Maradona mourns too
Former Argentina captain Diego Maradona also added his support, saying on Facebook: “My condolences to the relatives of Chapecoense team, Brazil, and all those who died in the tragic plane crash in Colombia. Unfortunately these guys, who were becoming a force in football, took the wrong plane. From today I am fan of #Chapecoense.”

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