Whether you are a fan, someone in the media or an employee/player of a team, we all have our own allegiances to one or more soccer teams at various places around the world. And the sense of dislike for a rival team of yours comes with the territory. But for a day like today, it proves once again that regardless of our allegiances, the soccer community can all come together for something far more important than what happens on a soccer field.
Overnight, a plane carrying members of Chapecoense, a Brasileiro Serie A team, crashed on their way to the Copa Sudamericana Final. Latest reports say that 76 people including players, team officials and media, have been killed. Over the past 12 or so hours, many within the soccer community have done what they could to help out this team who reached Serie A for the first time in 2013.
In Brazil, every Brasileiro team has changed their Twitter avatar to a black Chapecoense crest while the President of Brazil announced three days of mourning for the deceased.
— Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) November 29, 2016
And while the last thing Chapecoense is focused on right now is when or how they will play again, Brasileiro teams have offered players to them on free loans and requested that they be free from relegation for the next three years.
Chapecoense’s Copa Sudamericana opponent, Colombian team Atletico Nacional requested that Chapecoense be awarded the Copa Sudamericana title.
— Atlético Nacional (@nacionaloficial) November 29, 2016
The Chapecoense plan crash brought sad memories of previous airplane crashes involving soccer teams. Most notably, Manchester United and the Munich air disaster that killed 23, including eight United players in 1958.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) November 29, 2016
Italian Serie A team Torino also expressed their condolences. The Superga air disaster in 1949 killed all 31 people on board, including 18 players.
— Torino Football Club (@TorinoFC_1906) November 29, 2016
In addition, most teams from various countries around the world have expressed their thoughts. In Fans, players and people from the media have done the same.
It’s a shame that it takes a tragedy for people to come together like this but it does show something that defines the soccer community at large. Despite who we root for, despite our nationality and despite our allegiances, we can forego all that and come together when something happens that’s far more important than anything that happens on the field. While Chapecoense is in mourning, may they always be remembered now and forever.