Four players and club president dead in Brazilian football plane crash tragedy

By Sports Desk January 24, 2021

Four footballers from Brazilian club Palmas were among six people who died in a plane crash on Sunday.

The tragedy happened as the players from the Serie D club headed to a Copa Verde match against Vila Nova in Goiania.

Palmas announced the deaths of the players and club president Lucas Meira, as well as the pilot of the aircraft.

The Copa Verde game had been due to be played on Monday, with Palmas having won through to the last-16 stage by beating Real Noroeste on Wednesday.

Palmas said in a statement posted on their Twitter page: "Palmas Futebol e Regatas is hereby informing that at around 8:15am on this Sunday, the 24th, there was an air accident involving the president of the club Lucas Meira, when he was leaving for Goiania, for the Copa Verde match between Vila Nova and Palmas on Monday 25.

"The plane on which Lucas was with [pilot] Commander Wagner and athletes Lucas Praxedes, Guilherme Noe, Ranule and Marcus Molinari, took off and fell at the end of the runway of the Tocantins Association of Aviation.

"We are sorry to inform you that there are no survivors. In this moment of pain and dismay, the club asks for prayers for the relatives to whom it will provide the necessary support."

The club said it was an "inestimable loss", adding: "We appreciate the expressions of support and affection in this moment of pain."

Chapecoense, the club left devastated by a November 2016 plane crash that caused the deaths of many of their players and staff, were quick to offer support.

They said in a statement: "It is with deep sadness that we received the news of the crash of the plane that took the athletes and the president of Palmas.

"Unfortunately, we know what this moment of insurmountable pain from irreparable losses is like and we would like no other team to have to feel the same.

"In the face of this, however, we express our feeling of strength and our total solidarity with family members, friends, team-mates and fans. You will not go through this alone."

The Brazilian Football Confederation [CBF] expressed its sorrow at the news.

It said: "Deeply dismayed, CBF sympathises with the families of the victims of the plane crash. Our feelings also go to all the members of the club and to the fans of Palmas."

The CBF said a minute's silence would take place before all matches in Brazil on Sunday, adding that the Copa Verde match involving Palmas would be rescheduled for a later date.

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