Air tragedies that shook the world of football

3) Chapecoense football team (28 November 2016)

The Brazilian club faced a tragedy two years ago when the club were flying to Medellin. Having reached the Copa Sudamericana for the first time in their history, Chapecoense were scheduled to play AtleticoNacional. There were reports of fuel exhaustion and pilot’s error that the Bolivian charter LaMia disappeared before crashing in Cerro Gordo. The crash resulted in the death of 19 players while of the 77 people on board, only 6 people managed to survive. The tragic event resulted in a wave of emotions across the football world. The likes of Willian, David Luiz paid tribute to Chapo following their win against Manchester City that weekend.  AtleticoNacional, Chapo’s opposition for the final, requested CONMEBOL to hand Chapocense the trophy.

2) Torino football team (May 4, 1949)

The disastrous air crash of 1949 decimated the entire Torino football team. Touted as one of the greatest Torino sides of all time, the club were returning home from Lisbon where they had played a friendly against SL Benfica. Among those who lost their lives were also crucial parts of the Italian national team. The funeral resulted in outpour of emotions and streets were flooded with millions who came to say their final goodbye to Grande Torino side. The event had such immense emotional exertion on the players that a year later for the World Cup, the Italian national team chose to travel via Ship.

1)Manchester United (February 6, 1958)


One of the greatest sporting disasters of all time is the Munich air crash of 1958. Manchester United’s ‘Busby Babes’ as they were called at the time were returning from Belgrade where they had defeated Red Star in the semifinal of the European cup. The flight had a stoppage in Munich for refuelling. After two failed attempts to take off, the plane crashed on the third try. United’s seven players and three officials lost their lives that night. Sir Matt Busby, United’s manager at the time, remained in a critical state and was allowed to leave the hospital after almost nine weeks. He built a new team around Sir Bobby Charlton and later led United to continental success. The clock at Old Trafford was stopped post the disaster and is still paid tribute on the same date every year.