AFTER the horrific plane crash in Colombia carrying the squad of Brazilian football team Chapecoense and 21 journalists, here is how the world reacted to the tragedy.

The team were flying out to play in a cup final on Wednesday evening against Atletico Nacional.  Six out of the 77 people on board of the plane survived. Three players were among the survivors, while 19 players and the coaching staff died.

The pilot requested for an early landing which was found on one of the black-boxes due to an electrical fault and a lack of fuel. The plane crashed in to a mountain side just outside the Colombian city of Medellin.

The team were preparing to play in the biggest game in their history against Colombian side Atletico Nacional in the Copa Sudamericana, who has requested that the trophy is to be handed over to Chapecoense as a mark of respect.

Chapecoense are from the southern region of Brazil, known as Santa Catarina. They were founded in 1973 and had only reached the top flight division in Brazilian football in 2014.

Back in 2009, the club were still playing in the fourth tier until the last three years where they had established themselves as the ‘national force’ of Brazilian football.

Chapecoense had reached the final of the Copa Sudamericana – the equivalent to the Europa League, which was seen as a huge triumph for a club with a small budget.

The final was to be the highlight of a glorious season for the team from a state of less than 200,000 inhabitants.

South American football correspondent Tim Vickery told the BBC, ‘The Copa Sudamericana is the second biggest cup competition in South American football, to have reached the final, after coming from Brazil’s fourth division, in just six or seven years is a truly remarkable achievement which seems to have been interrupted by this terrible tragedy.’

Three of the big clubs in Brazil – Flamengo, Palmeiras and Sao Paulo have offered to loan some of their players to Chapecoense to help the club throughout the season.

The Brazilian football federation have announced a seven-day mourning period in which all matches have been postponed so far. The Brazilian government have also declared three days of mourning nationwide.

Around the world, many football clubs and football organisations have also paid their respects to the victims.

The four EFL Cup quarter final matches held one-minute silences before kick-off whilst Real Madrid were pictured showing their support by having a minutes silence at their training ground.

Professional players such as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney have also paid their respects to the players.

Brazilian legend Pele tweeted his respects stating, ‘My sincere condolences to the families of the deceased. Rest in peace.’

Tens and thousands of people lined the streets in their green and white striped Chapecoense shirts in Chapeco where they sang and prayed before making their way to the Chapeco Arena Conda stadium.

There was also a special service held at the cities cathedral before the march took place.

Families of the fallen victims were hugging and supporting each other on the pitch as the fans sang ‘champions’ around the arena.

A fan who spoke to the BBC said, ‘It is really hard to speak. We always come to the games. We’d come to the stadium and sit right in the same spot.

‘And we came here today, we sat here, but we know that this weekend, next week, our fighting team won’t be here anymore in this stadium. It’s tough. It’s really tough.’

A founder of the club, Alvadir Pelisser, told BBC Brazil, ‘the tragedy has put an end to everyone’s dream. We were a family, I’m shocked.’

The fans and the footballing world will be left hurting at the horrific tragedy but this Chapecoense squad will be forever known as the eternal champions.

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