Plane Carrying Talented Brazilian Football Club Players Crashes; Goalkeeper Survives With One Leg
The death of sporting outfits in accidents is nothing less than a national calamity as it wipes out a country's hopes. In 1993, several members of the national football team of Zambia were killed in an air crash over the Atlantic, leaving an irreparable loss in the African nation's football. And 23 years later, it was the turn of Brazil's Chapecoense club to meet the same fate, leaving the football-obsessed country in a terrible state of mourning.
The 43-year-old club was on way to Colombia to play against Colombia's Atletico Nacional in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final on Wednesday (Nov 30) but fate had other plans. The LaMia Flight 2933 aircraft which was carrying the team crashed into the mountains near Medellin, Colombia, killing 71 people. Only six survived the tragedy and among them was the ill-fated club's defender Alan Luciano Ruschel. Reports suggested that the crash occurred because the plane had run out of fuel, said this Daily Mirror article. The investigation was on to find out the actual reason for the crash.
The team's goalkeeper Jackson Follmann also survived the crash but suffered a leg amputation, the doctors informed, said Argentina sports journalist Martin Mazur in a tweet.
Chapecoense goalkeeper Jackson Follmann, plane crash survivor, suffered a leg amputation, informs doctor Guillermo Molina
— Martin Mazur (@martinmazur) November 29, 2016
A third footballer, Danilo, survived besides a journalist and a crew member, Mazur said in another tweet.
Survivors are 5: footballers Danilo, Follmann, Alan Rushel, journalist Rafael Henzel and crew member Ximena Suárez. https://t.co/mcxKWfsGql — Martin Mazur (@martinmazur) November 29, 2016
The disaster left entire Brazil, the country which has won most number of World Cup titles in football, in grief. The club was also struggling to come to terms with the massive loss. Chairman of Chapecoense's board Pilinio David de Nes Filho told the country's TV Globo that "the dream is over".
Mazur told CNN that Chapecoense was one of the most lovely fairy tales, adding that the club's "humble story" and "magnificent run" in Copa Sudamericana, South America's second-biggest intercontinental club competition, was "naturally embraced by Brazilian football fans in general".
Chapecoense began its journey as a modest outfit and played in Brazil's fourth tier in 2007 and went on to rub shoulders with some of the heavyweight teams of the country.
One among the dead included Cleber Santana, the 35-year-old midfielder who had played in Japan and Spain and was the captain of the ill-fated side. His former team Atletico Madrid expressed shock over the incident on Twitter.
Had Chapecoense succeeded to win the title, it would not only have been the highest point in their football history but also would allow them to take part in Copa Libertadores, the most prestigious club competition in Latin America, next year. People can't win a match against destiny.