Tributes paid at Arena Conda memorial after Chapecoense tragedy

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After a plane carrying the Brazilian side to the Copa Sudamericana final crashed and killed 71 people, a memorial has been held at their home stadium

Thousands gathered to pay tribute to the victims of this week's tragic plane crash in Colombia at Chapecoense's Arena Conda on Saturday.

Players, backroom staff and officials from the Brazilian club, as well as a number of journalists, were among the 71 people to lose their lives when the flight carrying them to the Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional went down in Cerro Gordo, La Union.

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Amid torrential rain in the town of Chapeco, coffins - which arrived from Colombia earlier in the day and were covered in Chapecoense's green and white colours - were walked through the stadium, along with respective photographs and shirts of those who died.

CONMEBOL chief Alejandro Dominguez, Brazil coach Tite, the country's president Michel Temer and Gianni Infantino, the head of FIFA, were all in attendance, while large screens broadcast the speeches of the delegates to those fans who congregated outside the ground.

"We came here to give an embrace of solidarity to the families and friends. FIFA is on your side, not just today, but always," Infantino said.

Dominguez added: "We support the families of the victims at this very difficult time. CONMEBOL is an organisation because of the players, clubs, journalists and fans that make football possible.

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"My heart and the hearts of everyone at CONMEBOL is with Chapeco."

Chapecoense bosses delivered plaques of thanks to Atletico, who held a vigil for the deceased on the day on which the first leg of the final had been scheduled to take place, and to Santa Fe, the Colombian side who made a gift of their replica of the Copa Sudamericana trophy they won in 2015.

It was not just in Brazil that tributes were paid, however, with Neymar among the many to honour the deceased by arriving at Camp Nou for Barcelona's Clasico against Real Madrid with a Chapecoense shirt.

Chelsea team-mates Diego Costa, David Luiz and Willian sported armbands emblazoned with the phrase 'Forca Chape' during the 3-1 victory over Manchester City, while Alex Sandro held up a shirt with the same message after scoring in Juventus's match against Atalanta.

A minute's silence has been held before matches across the world this week, while teams have worn black armbands to commemorate the victims.

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