We here at HB & HB join with the world football community in shock and mourning for the loss of 71 people – players, staff, crew, journalists – in last night’s horrific crash in Colombia.
It was a tragic end to Chapecoense’s Cinderella story in the Copa Sudamerica. Brazil has declared 3 days of national mourning and has canceled all matches for a week. Chapecoense’s opponent in the final, Atlético Nacional, has asked CONMEBOL to cancel the last two legs of the tournament and declare Chapecoense the champions. Brazil’s first division teams have offered to lend Chapecoense players for the 2017 season and have put in a request to the Brazilian football federation that the team not be relegated for 3 years to allow them to rebuild.
Our thoughts are also with the survivors: Players Alan Ruschel, Jakson Follmann and Neto along with crew members Ximena Suárez and Erwin Tumiri, and journalist Rafael Valmorbida. It is believed that goalkeeper Danilo survived the impact but later died of his injuries.
Our hearts go out to the families of everyone affected by this tragedy and the people of Chapecó. We grieve with them today. The entire world football family is lending support and hopes for healing and recovery.
May those lost rest in peace.