The thoughts and sympathies of the Canadian Soccer League, which has a number of Brazilian-born players within its ranks, are with the Chapecoense soccer club of Brazil following the loss of most of the entire team following the crash of a charter flight on its way to the first leg of the South American Cup in Colombia Monday.
Most of the team from Chapeco, Brazil, with coaches, guests and 20 journalists, were among the 71 of the approximately 80 on board reported to have been killed. Early reports say at least three soccer players are listed as having survived.
The Chapecoense Real team was set to play the Colombian club team Atletico Nacional of Medellin on Wednesday and the flight was nearing its destination at Medellin when the crash occurred in an area called Cerro El Gordo.
Erik Barbosa, one of two part-time staff persons at the CSL office and a native of Bogota, Colombia, is a supporter of the home side Atletico Nacional in what what was considered to be a big match capturing the attention of South Americans throughout the continent. “The loss of an almost entire soccer team is a loss of huge proportions to South Americans who like their soccer players, ” said Barbosa.
The crash compares to the loss of the entire Torino of Italy team that lost all 22 players near Turin in 1949 and the Alianza Lima soccer team from Peru which lost 16 players and its coach in 1987 while returning home from a league match to the Peruvian capital. Also, the Manchester United team from England that went down leaving Munich in 1958 after playing a key game in Germany. Eight Manchester United players and eight journalists were killed.
The CSL has sent a message of condolences to the Chapecoense Real club.