4 Palmas Football Players, Team President Die in Brazil Plane Crash

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 25, 2021

Balls on the field ahead of the English Premier League soccer match between Aston Villa and Chelsea at the Villa Park stadium in Birmingham, England, Sunday, June 21, 2020. (Cath Ivill/Pool via AP)
Cath Ivill/Associated Press

Four players from Palmas football club, a fourth-division side in Brazil, and the club president died in a plane crash Sunday.

"The plane took off and crashed at the end of the runway at the Tocantinense Aviation Association," Palmas said in a statement, per ESPN. "We regret to report there are no survivors."

FIFA issued its own statement:

The plane was carrying president Lucas Meira and Lucas Praxedes, Guilherme Noe, Ranule and Marcus Molinari from the playing squad. The group was traveling to Goiania ahead of a fixture Monday with Vila Nova.

Club spokesperson Izabela Martins told the Associated Press the five were flying separately from the rest of the team, which was otherwise on commercial flights, because of positive COVID-19 tests. They were due to leave isolation Monday.

In November 2016, 19 players and the coaching staff from another Brazilian club, Chapecoense, were among the 71 people who died in a plane crash in Colombia.

"Unfortunately, we know what this moment of pain is like and we wish that no other group had to feel the same," Chapecoense said of Sunday's news. "You won't go through this alone."

The cause of the crash remains unknown.