Soccer world sends condolences to Brazil's Chapecoense after air crash

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SAO PAULO, Nov 29 (Reuters) - The soccer world was in mourning on Tuesday as clubs, players and fans from around the globe sent tributes and support to Brazilian side Chapecoense following a deadly air crash in Colombia that killed 76 people, including several players.

The small club from the town of Chapeco had been heading for the biggest game in its history, the first leg of Wednesday's Copa Sudamericana final, when its plane crashed in a mountainous rural area outside of the city of Medellin.

One of the first messages came from their rivals in Wednesday's now postponed final, Atletico Nacional of Medellin.

"Nacional deeply laments and stands in solidarity with @ChapecoenseReal in the accident and we await information from authorities," the home town club tweeted soon after the disaster was reported.

FIFA President Infantino said on Twitter: "At this difficult time our thoughts are with the victims, their families and friends."

Rivals of both clubs tweeted their support, with Flamengo and Santos in Brazil, and Club Junior and Millionarios in Colombia among those sending their condolences, many of them accompanied by the hashtag #ForcaChape, or Strength Chapecoense.

Photos from the plane crash:

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Plane carrying Brazilian soccer team crashes
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Plane carrying Brazilian soccer team crashes
Brazilian soccer player Alan Luciano Ruschel of Chapecoense soccer club receives medical attention after a plane crash in Antioquia, central Colombia November 29, 2016. REUTERS/Guillermo Ossa/EL TIEMPO 
A survivor of the air crash near Medellin, Colombia arrives a hospital in Medellin in this image taken from TV Tuesday Nov. 29, 2016. Colombian officials say that a chartered plane carrying a Brazilian first division soccer team has crashed near Medellin while on its way to the finals of a regional tournament, killing scores of people. (Medellin TV via AP)
A survivor of the air crash near Medellin, Colombia arrives a hospital in Medellin in this image taken from TV Tuesday Nov. 29, 2016. Colombian officials say that a chartered plane carrying a Brazilian first division soccer team has crashed near Medellin while on its way to the finals of a regional tournament, killing scores of people. (Medellin TV via AP)
Rescue workers search for survivors at he wreckage of a chartered airplane that crashed in La Union, a mountainous area outside Medellin, Colombia, Tuesday , Nov. 29, 2016. The plane was carrying the Brazilian first division soccer club Chapecoense team that was on it's way for a Copa Sudamericana final match against Colombia's Atletico Nacional. (AP Photo/Luis Benavides)
Rescue workers search at the wreckage site of a chartered airplane that crashed outside Medellin, Colombia, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. The plane was carrying the Brazilian first division soccer club Chapecoense team that was on it's way for a Copa Sudamericana final match against Colombia's Atletico Nacional. (AP Photo/Luis Benavides)
Rescue workers carry the body of a survivor of a plane that crashed in La Union, a mountainous area outside Medellin, Colombia, Tuesday , Nov. 29, 2016. The plane was carrying the Brazilian first division soccer club Chapecoense team that was on it's way for a Copa Sudamericana final match against Colombia's Atletico Nacional. (AP Photo/Luis Benavides)
Rescue workers arrange the bodies of victims of an airplane that crashed in La Union, a mountainous area outside Medellin, Colombia, Tuesday , Nov. 29, 2016. The plane was carrying the Brazilian first division soccer club Chapecoense team that was on it's way for a Copa Sudamericana final match against Colombia's Atletico Nacional. (AP Photo/Luis Benavides)
Rescue workers carry the boris of victims of an airplane that crashed in La Union, a mountainous area outside Medellin, Colombia, Tuesday , Nov. 29, 2016. The plane was carrying the Brazilian first division soccer club Chapecoense team that was on it's way for a Copa Sudamericana final match against Colombia's Atletico Nacional. (AP Photo/Luis Benavides)
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATHRescue crew work in the wreckage from a plane that crashed into Colombian jungle with Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense, seen near Medellin, Colombia, November 29, 2016. REUTERS/Fredy Builes TEMPLATE OUT
Rescuers search for survivors from the wreckage of the LAMIA airlines charter plane carrying members of the Chapecoense Real football team that crashed in the mountains of Cerro Gordo, municipality of La Union, on November 29, 2016. A charter plane carrying the Brazilian football team crashed in the mountains in Colombia late Monday, killing as many as 75 people, officials said. / AFP / Raul ARBOLEDA (Photo credit should read RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images)
A rescuer walks past the body of a victim from the LAMIA airlines charter plane crash in the mountains of Cerro Gordo, municipality of La Union, on November 29, 2016. A charter plane carrying the Chapocoense Real football team crashed in the mountains in Colombia late Monday, killing as many as 75 people, officials said. / AFP / Raul ARBOLEDA (Photo credit should read RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Rescuers carry one of the survivors from the LAMIA airlines charter plane carrying members of the Chapecoense Real football team that crashed in the mountains of Cerro Gordo, municipality of La Union, on November 29, 2016. A charter plane carrying the Chapocoense Real football team crashed in the mountains in Colombia late Monday, killing as many as 75 people, officials said. / AFP / Raul ARBOLEDA (Photo credit should read RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images)
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF DEATH AND INJURYRescue workers carry the body of a victim from a plane that crashed into Colombian jungle with Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense near Medellin, Colombia, November 29, 2016. REUTERS/Fredy Builes TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Rescue crew work in the wreckage from a plane that crashed into Colombian jungle with Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense near Medellin, Colombia, November 29, 2016. REUTERS/Fredy Builes
A police officer stands next to the body of a victim of the LAMIA airlines charter plane crash in the mountains of Cerro Gordo, municipality of La Union, on November 29, 2016. A charter plane carrying the Chapecoense Real football team crashed in the mountains in Colombia late Monday, killing as many as 75 people, officials said. / AFP / RAUL ARBOLEDA (Photo credit should read RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images)
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The crash struck a chord with clubs elsewhere, with Arsenal saying: "Thinking of you, @ChapecoenseReal" and Barcelona tweeting: "All our support and solidarity is with the victims and the families affected by the @ChapecoenseReal tragedy in Colombia."

England captain Wayne Rooney tweeted: "Sad news to wake up to today. Thoughts are with @ChapecoenseReal and their family and friends."

Real Madrid players observed a minute's silence before training on Tuesday morning and players from around the world shared their condolences.

Brazilian striker Neymar simply tweeted the club badge and Porto goalkeeper Iker Casillas said "Good luck and stay strong!"

Former Germany captain Michael Ballack tweeted: "Very sad to read #RIP #Chapecoense Remember we are never safe and anything can happen, so make sure to tell your loved ones that you care."

Sao Paulo canceled plans to present Rogerio Ceni as their new coach on Tuesday and the Brazilian Football Confederation suspended Wednesday night's second leg of the Brazilian Cup final between Gremio and Atletico Mineiro. (Editing by Alison Williams)

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