Just five months after the tragic plane crash that claimed the lives of 71 people, Chapecoense fans have seen the club’s tragedy turned into fodder for a disparaging chant. That’s after the scene at the Heriberto Hülse stadium, where fans of rival club Criciuma chanted “refuel the plane!” at a delegation of Chapecoense fans, referencing the fact that the plane crashed due to not having sufficient fuel to reach its destination in Colombia.
— Maratáh (@ottoni3101) April 24, 2017
The chant took place towards the end of the clubs’ final round meeting in the Santa Catrina Championship, one of the many regional competitions in Brazil. Criciuma lost the match 1-0.
For their part, Criciuma put out a statement, distancing the club from the section of fans partcipitating in the chant: “Criciúma Esporte Clube does not condone and repudiates the chants of fans that took place on Sunday night in the Heriberto Hülse stadium, during the match against the Chapecoense Football Association, in the final round of the Santa Catarina Championship,” the statement read before continuing to say that the chants do not align with the principles of the club. “The song chanted by half a dozen fans is of deeply bad taste and does not match the sporting spirit that guides Criciúma Esporte Clube.”
They also stated that they will aid the authorities in any investigations they might have into the chant.
This isn’t the first time that the Chapecoense plane crash has provided ammunition for a tasteless sports chant: earlier this month, fans of Portugal’s Porto handball team chanted “I wish Benfica had been on Chapecoense’s plane,” in reference to their heated domestic rivals. Porto president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa sent a letter to Chapecoense apologizing for the chant, while also offering the Brazilian club help in order to rebuild following the crash.