ZURICH: FIFA president Gianni Infantino has led the football world in expressing his “shock and deep sadness” at the plane crash tragedy which engulfed Brazilian club ACF Chapecoense on their journey to Medellin for the final of the Copa Sudamericana.
Infantino said: “This is a very, very sad day for football. We are so sorry to hear about the airplane crash in Colombia, it is shocking and tragic news. At this difficult time our thoughts are with the victims, their families and friends.
“FIFA would like to extend its most heartfelt condolences to the fans of Chapecoense, the football community and media organisations concerned in Brazil.”
The aircraft, which had 72 passengers and nine crew members on board, including the Brazilian team’s delegation and members of the media, was travelling from Brazil.
Following a stopover in Bolivia, the aircraft crashed on 28 November in the Colombian region of Antioquia, Cerro Gordo, with the causes currently unknown.
CONMEBOL, in an official statement, has announced the suspension of all its activities until further notice.
Juan Carlos de la Cuesta, president of Atletico Nacional – Chapecoense’s opponents in the final – has expressed his club’s support and solidarity with the club and asked CONMEBOL to award the trophy to the Brazilian club.
Further expressions of shock and condolence were issued from around the football world including from Torino, Italian champions when their team was wiped out at Superga in 1949 in the first major football club plane crash.