A plane that transported the president of the Venezuelan team Merida students crashed outside of Caracascausing the death of its six occupants, including the leader, reported the Venezuelan Football Federation (FVF)

“With deep pain and consternation, we received the news of the death of Christian Toni, president of Estudiantes de Mérida. Venezuelan soccer is in mourning for the untimely departure of an excellent human being, a tireless worker and a great friend,” the Federation reported on Twitter.

In 2016, Toni took the reins of Estudiantes — founded on April 4, 1971, making it one of the oldest professional soccer clubs in the country.

Two crew members identified as Guillermo Vargas and Milton Quigua, and passengers Aldo Camacho, Juan Barajas and Ronald Camacho also died in the incident, the FVF added in another tweet.

Major General Carlos Perez Ampueda. Deputy Minister for Risk Management and Civil Protection, reported that the aircraft, registration YV-3304, crashed in the vicinity of the town of Charallave, located about 28 kilometers southwest of Caracas.

“Investigations continue to determine the causes of the incident,” Pérez Ampueda added through his social networks, without giving other details.

Estudiantes de Mérida, one of the most popular clubs in Venezuela, was crowned champion of the national tournament in 1980 and 1985. Seven runners-up in 1976, 1977, 1981, 1986, 1998, 2002 and 2019 stand out.

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