The grief was heavy, as family, fans and mourners said their final farewell to deceased footballers in Brazil

ChapecoRelatives of the victims of the plane crash in Colombia participate in a ceremony to pay tribute to them at Arena Conda stadium in Chapeco, Brazil, December 3, 2016. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

It rained heavily as 100,000 people gathered in Chapecó, southern Brazil, to say a painful goodbye to football players, coaches and others who lost their lives in a plane crash in Colombia on November 29.

71 people were killed, 51 of them in one way or another related to football team Chapecoense Real, who had in 2016 experienced their most successful season ever until the plane crash wiped out almost the entire team.

Around 20,000 people attended the ceremony, which was held at the team’s home stadium, and many more gathered outside. It’s estimated that half the city’s 210,000 residents had come to say goodbye.

Coffins rested on home turf

Many of the mourners stood along the roadside as the coffins were transported from the airport to the stadium, which was decorated with hundreds of banners, flags and posters, written in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

The coffins were carried out onto the pitch where the players had secured so many victories earlier this year that they’d qualified for the finals in one of South America’s two most important football cups.

Ivan Tozzo, acting chairman of the football club, spoke warmly about players and coaches and a tent with places for the coffins underneath spanned the width of the football pitch. On top of it was written a sentence from the club’s anthem, which said…‘in happiness and in the most difficult hours, you are always a winner.’

 

Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today

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