A plane carrying the Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense crashed in Colombia this morning, killing 71 of the 76 people aboard. The team, along with staff and 21 journalists, was enroute to the first leg of the two-game Copa Sudamericana final on Wednesday against Atletico Nacional of Medellin. The 5 survivors included 3 players, 1 flight crew member and 1 journalist.

Along with the RGSA, Richmond FC is saddened to hear about the tragedy in Colombia. Our deepest sympathies go out to all the family and friends of those who passed away.

The Richmond FC would like encourage all teams to take a moment of silence prior to your scheduled game this upcoming weekend.

Here are some facts about the club, which is not widely known to North American sports fans:
Full name: Associação Chapecoense de Futebol.
Based in: Chapeco, a city of about 210,000 located about 1,000 kilometres southwest of Rio de Janeiro.
Founded: 1973
Stadium: Arena Conda (capacity 22,600).
League: Two stints in Brazil’s top league, Serie A (1979, 2014-present).
Titles: Won Santa Catarina state titles in 1977, 1996, 2007, 2011.
2016 regular-season record: 13-13-11 (ninth in 20-team Serie A).
Top scorer: Bruno Rangel (10 goals in 32 matches).

Copa Sudamericana
A true inspiration to all, Chapecoense rose up through the divisions starting in 2009 in Série D, 2011 – Série C, 2013 – Série B, 2014 – Série A. In 2016, after defeating a pair of teams from Argentina and another from Colombia, Chapecoense was about to play the biggest match in its history — on the road in the first leg of the two-game Copa Sudamericana final on Wednesday against Atletico Nacional of Medellin. The Copa Sudamericana is equivalent to the UEFA Europa League tournament.

In the words of the Associação Chapecoense de Futebol – “Let this be the last image our warriors“.