BRASILIA: The Brazilian government has declared three days of national mourning for the victims of the Chapecoense plane disaster in Colombia.
The victims included more than 20 Brazilian sports journalists as well as a similar number of players and club officials.
Brazil’s President Michel Temer announced the mourning period and offered his condolences to the friends and families of those on the plane in a series of tweets.
He noted: “I express my solidarity at this sad time when dozens of Brazilian families have been affected by tragedy.
“We are offering every form of help and assistance that we can to the families. The air force and foreign ministry have been put to work. The government will do everything possible to relieve the pain of these friends and families of Brazilian sport and journalism.”
The Brazilian football federation (CBF) has postponed all matches for a week, including the final round of the Serie A national championship and the Copa do Brasil final between Gremio and Atletico Mineiro.
World federation FIFA followed up its initial statement of shock with a further tribute to the journalists who died in the crash.
A FIFA statement said:
The Brazilian journalists on the plane that crashed in Colombia were both colleagues and friends of FIFA’s Communications staff. We are shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic news and we would like to extend our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives on their way to cover the final match of Copa Sudamericana.
Media representatives (according to the website g1.globo.com):
Guilherme Marques, Ari de Araújo Jr, Guilherme Laars, Giovane Klein Victória, Bruno Mauri da Silva, Djalma Araújo Neto, André Podiacki, Laion Espíndola, Victorino Chermont, Rodrigo Santana Gonçalves, Deva Pascovicci (Devair Paschoalon), Lilacio Pereira Jr, Paulo Clement, Mário Sérgio, Renan Agnolin, Fernando Schardong, Edson Ebeliny, Gelson Galiotto, Douglas Dorneles, Jacir Biavatti, Ivan Agnoletto.
European federation UEFA added its voice to the game’s sorrow, saying in a statement:
UEFA is shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic air accident that occurred in Colombia today, involving the delegation of the Brazilian football team Chapecoense, who were travelling to Medellin to play a Copa Sudamerica final match against Atlético Nacional on Wednesday.
UEFA extends its deepest sympathy to the families of the victims, and also wishes to express its solidarity with the Chapecoense club, the Brazilian Football Confederation and the South American confederation CONMEBOL.
** Atletico Nacional, who Chapecoense should have played in the Copa Sudamericana final, have proposed to CONMEBOL that the cup be awarded to the Brazilian club.