A plane flying Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense to Colombia crashed overnight, killing 71 people on board, Colombian officials have confirmed. Six people survived the crash, according to Caracol news of Colombia.
The plane, which just a few weeks ago carried Lionel Messi and the Argentina national team, was traveling to Medellin's international airport, with the team heading to Colombia to take part in the first game of the Copa America two-leg final against Atletico Nacional on Wednesday. The flight originated from Bolivia.
The flight crew declared an emergency at 10 p.m. local time on Monday because of an electrical failure and the plane crashed not long after that, about five minutes from its destination. CONMEBOL, South American football's governing body released a statement that the Copa Sudamericana final and "all federation activities" have been suspended until further notice.
The Copa Sudamericana is South America's secondary competition involving clubs across the continent, below the Copa Libertadores, similar to what the Europa League is to Europe.
The final is played across two legs, with each team hosting one leg at their home stadium.
The club was established in 1973 and is based out of the southern state of Santa Catarina. Later on Tuesday, Nacional requested that the Copa Sudamerica title go to Chapecoense.
The tragic accident is the first major one in the sport since the 1993 crash of the Zambia national team, which resulted in 30 people losing their lives.
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