Brazilian football pays tribute to Chapecoense air crash victims

Rio de Janeiro: Clubs and fans paid tribute to the victims of a plane crash that devastated the Chapecoense football club on the final day of the Brazilian football season.

Seventy-one people died, including most of Chapecoense’s players, staff and directors, when the LaMia plane in which they were traveling crashed near Medellin, Colombia, on November 28, reports Xinhua.

Most Brazilian Serie A teams wore the stricken club’s logo on their jerseys on Sunday, with some — such as Botafogo and Santos — even incorporating Chapeconese’s green colors in a specially designed one-off kit.

All matches featured a minute’s silence before kick-off while fans held up signs and sang chants to show their solidarity with the club from the small city of Chapeco.

Chapecoense’s home fixture against Atletico Mineiro was abandoned at the request of both clubs.

Investigations into the accident are ongoing but the pilot and co-owner of the Bolivian airline is known to have told air traffic controllers moments before the crash that the plane was out of fuel.

Bolivian authorities have suspended LaMia’s operating licence and president Evo Morales has promised a full investigation.

Chapecoense had been due to play Atletico Nacional de Medellin in the two-match Copa Sudamericana final on November 30 and December 7.

Last week, Chapecoense were awarded the league title at the request of Atletico Nacional.