Fans of Chapecoense soccer team hold the names of Chapecoense's players as they pay tribute, for them at the Arena Conda stadium in Chapeco, Brazil November 30, 2016. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes
SAO PAULO, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Uruguayan club Nacional have apologised after some of their fans made mocking airplane gestures in Wednesday's Copa Libertadores clash against Chapecoense, whose players were involved in a devastating aircraft crash in 2016.
"Unfortunately lots of sick minds channel their irrationality into sporting events," Nacional said as they expressed their "profound shame".
The Montevideo club said in an open letter they were taking action to identify and ban the culprits who travelled to Brazil for the tie.
Conmebol, South American football's governing body, said their disciplinary committee had opened an inquiry into the incidents, which took place during Nacional's 1-0 win. It gave the Uruguayan club until Feb. 8 to present their defence.
Chapecoense were travelling to the final of the Copa Sudamericana to play Colombian side Atletico Nacional in November, 2016 when the plane carrying their team crashed into a mountainside outside Medellin.
Some 71 of the 77 people on board, including all but three of the Chapecoense squad, died in the crash.
The small club from southern Brazil rebuilt last year and managed to reach the qualifying rounds of the Libertadores, the South American equivalent of the Champions League.
The Brazilians, however, lost the first leg at home on Wednesday to a goal from Santiago Romero.
The result gives the Uruguayans a slim advantage to take into the second leg in Montevideo next week. The winner will qualify for the third and final qualifying round ahead of the group stages.
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