Soccer fans came together for a somber and tearful tribute to the players and staff members of the Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense who lost their lives in a plane crash Tuesday at the site of the Copa Sudamericana finals they were supposed to play in.
Thousands of fans gathered at the stadium of local team Atletico Nacional in Medellín, Colombia (with even more who couldn’t fit in the stadium standing outside) Wednesday night for the ceremony. Members of Atletico Nacional Many in attendance—including members of Atletico Nacional—were brought to tears during the tribute as a military band played. Fans held up candles, lighting up the stadium.
Eu não tenho palavras para descrever esse momento, juro. pic.twitter.com/HnopwjgmFq— Luã Rebollo (@rebollosep) November 30, 2016
Apparently more than 100,000 Atlético Nacional fans inside and on the outskirts of the Atanasio Girardot to pay tribute to Chapecoense pic.twitter.com/JhoRPSR5WJ— Escojar (@Escojar) December 1, 2016
MANO— ORGULHO DE SER MANU GAVASSER (@Nixolaas) December 1, 2016
O LADO DE FORA DO ATANASIO GIRADOTpic.twitter.com/YYwdPZymj2
They were joined by the surviving members of Chapecoense who weren’t on the plane to Medellín. They walked onto the field holding hands on what was supposed to the biggest night in the history of their team.
During the ceremony, officials released 71 doves into the air, which represented the number of people who died in the plane crash.
In the sky. 71 doves were freed at Medellin stadium to remember 71 victims.— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) December 1, 2016
And the doves flied away all together pic.twitter.com/Rd2AKLaq8n
“It’s a light of hope when all of us are trying to understand what’s impossible to understand,” Brazilian Foreign Minister Jose Serra said of fans’ solidarity.
Chapecoense posted part of the tribute to Facebook and thanked fans for their support.
Fox Sports in Brazil (which lost six employees in the plane crash) aired a black screen with a game clock and the hashtag #90minutosdesilenco, or 90 minutes of silence.
Chapecoense was supposed to play Atletico Nacional now. Fox Sports in Brazil airing a black screen with a hashtag "90 minutes of silence" 👏 pic.twitter.com/QbBw5XWp8v— Guilherme Cruz (@guicruzzz) December 1, 2016
H/T New York Post