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Porto apologizes for Chapecoense chants in handball match

Fans Pay Tribute To Brazilian Football Team Chapecoense Following Fatal Plane Crash

CHAPECO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 30: Fans pay tribute to the players of Brazilian team Chapecoense Real at the club’s Arena Conda stadium in Chapeco, in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, on November 30, 2016. The players were killed in a plane accident in the Colombian mountains. Players of the Chapecoense team were among the 77 people on board the doomed flight that crashed into mountains in northwestern Colombia. Officials said just six people were thought to have survived, including three of the players. Chapecoense had risen from obscurity to make it to the Copa Sudamericana finals scheduled for Wednesday against Atletico Nacional of Colombia. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

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LISBON, Portugal (AP) FC Porto’s president has apologized for his club’s fans chanting that they wished rivals Benfica had been on board the plane that crashed with Brazilian team Chapecoense.

Some Porto fans chanted “I wish Benfica had been on Chapecoense’s plane” during a handball match between Porto and Benfica on Wednesday.

In a letter provided by the club to The Associated Press, Porto president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa wrote to Chapecoense to apologize for “the insulting chants.”

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Pinto da Costa added that Porto would like to help the Brazilian club rebuild from the November 2016 crash that took the lives of most of its team.

The crash in Colombia killed 71 of 77 people on board, including 19 Chapecoense players.

Huge football rivals in Portugal, Porto and Benfica also compete in other sports, including handball.

Porto won the match on Wednesday and leads the Portuguese handball league.