The Brazilian Chapecoense soccer team was on its way to the Copa Sudamericana finals in Medellin, Colombia when the jet they were flying in crashed on Monday, Nov. 28. The wreck killed 71 people including members of the team, crew and journalist. Six passengers survived Monday’s crash, including three players.
As family, friends and fans continue to grieve the loss of their beloved players, one cartoon is serving as a comforting image. Posted on the team’s Facebook page, the drawing depicts God crowning each player with a halo. The caption highlights the team’s rise to soccer greatness. The team, which was formed in 1973, was on the way to the first leg of the international final—the first of its kind that the team had ever reached.
“They didn’t tire of going up, and they arrived in heaven,” the caption for the cartoon reads.
As friends, family and fans struggle to make sense of this horrific accident, investigators are trying to determine what caused the crash. Initial findings in the wreckage suggest the plane may have run out of fuel. But, as the black boxes were recovered Tuesday, officials hope to have a clearer picture of what went wrong.
On Wednesday, the club took to Facebook to invite fans to honor their team, saying: “Fans, you who were always together, you are summoned to honor our warriors. Tonight, from 8pm, let’s fill the Arena Condá and vibrate as if it were the championship final.”
And, turn out they did. Thousands of fans cheered and cried together to grieve their significant loss.
Club Communications Director, Andrei Copetti, told reporters the bodies recovered at the crash site have all been identified and were being prepared for military transport back to Brazil. Although uncertain of the exact details, Copetti estimated that the coffins would arrive in Chapeco by midday Friday and a collective wake will be held at the club’s stadium.