Cameo Tietje ‘ 18
Assistant Sports Editor
Brazil’s Chapecoense Soccer Team was on their way to the final of the Copa Sudamericana, the South American international soccer competition. Their country held high hopes for them and followed the tournament closely.
As the plane flew over mountains in Columbia, they experienced electrical failure. Minutes later, the plane crashed, killing 77 people. Only six people survived, three of which were players. In addition, 21 journalists were reportedly aboard the plane, only one of which survived. They were one of the most outstanding Brazilian teams, beloved by their country, especially following their gold medal in at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
“This is a relatively small city, so everyone knows somebody who was on the plane,” said Roberto Panarotto, 44, a professor of media studies in Chapecó, the team’s hometown. Brazil has had a turbulent year from their economic crisis to the impeachment of their president. Brazilian soccer was an escape from the corruption scandals.
They were in the midst of a historic season before the tragic crash killed majority of the team and coaching staff. A week prior, Tiago da Rocha Vieira Alves was awarded one final joy in life before he passed. He found out that he was going to be a father. His teammates surprised him with the news showing how close they all were.
The Chapecoense Soccer Club overcame corruption and poor management. For example, Brazil’s former president of the soccer federation was arrested last year on corruption charges. The city was in a period of mourning and flooded the stadium in order to pay their respects. To lose such a promising team is a tragedy in the world of soccer, one that also left many families heartbroken.