A sad day in the history of world soccer
By Erik Pinto, Contributor
Last week was a massive one for football fans around the world. The MLS Cup Semifinals took place, and a match between the biggest rivalry in all of sports (F.C. Barcelona vs. Real Madrid) was held on Saturday. The Continental Cup was to be played for this past Wednesday in South America. That is, of course, until tragedy struck that very Monday night.
It was to be a match in Medellin, Colombia, between Colombian side Atletico Nacional and Brazilian squad Chapecoense. Chapecoense was riding a tsunami-sized tidal wave that saw them run through their side of the bracket as huge underdogs in every match. It was going to be the most significant match of each player’s career and quite blatantly the biggest game in the club’s history. It was truly a Cinderella story for them.
However, their story came to a shocking halt. Last Monday night, Flight 2933, which was carrying the entire Chapecoense football club, crashed. The chartered flight from Santa Cruz, Bolivia, didn’t make it to the city of Medellin. It crash landed on the outskirts of the city, killing 75 of the 81 people on board. Only six individuals survived, three of whom were players.
Following the horrific incident, an act of immense respect and homage was shown by opposing side Atletico Nacional as they reached out to the league’s governing body, calling for the title to be awarded to Chapecoense. Team officials said in their official statement, “For us, and forever, Chapecoense shall be the Copa Sudamericana champions for 2016.”
This unimaginable tragedy sent Brazil into three days of mourning and sparked condolences and tributes around the world, touching the hearts of everyone worldwide as these fallen warriors were recognized as Champions in the hearts of everybody.