Wednesday, 20 March, 2019

Tearful family and friends gather for footballer Sala's wake and funeral

Emiliano Sala's funeral held in Argentina Emiliano Sala's Dog Waited Outside Her Owner's Wake To Say Goodbye
Cassandra Castillo | 18 February, 2019, 17:56

Sala died when his private plane crashed in the English Channel en route from Nantes to Cardiff on 21 January.

Cardiff City chief executive Ken Choo at Emiliano Sala's funeral.

"It is something that I still can not understand or accept because it hurts so much", said Progreso resident Lucia Torres, who was in tears.

This was before he could make his debut for the English Premier League side.

"My town shut down on January 21 and remains shut down to this day".

The 28-year-old striker's body was repatriated on Friday before it was returned to Progreso, about 350 miles from Buenos Aires, for the public vigil which was attended by Sala's family members.

Sala's body will be taken to the nearby city of Santa Fe for cremation on Saturday evening but his family did not give details of what would happen to his ashes.

Sala's boyhood team, San Martin de Progreso, posted an emotional tribute on Facebook, saying: "We are waiting for you...like the first day you left but this time to stay with us forever".

More news: Alisson: Liverpool won’t feel Van Dijk loss against Bayern

An inquest in England later concluded that the footballer died of "head and trunk injuries".

Among those in attendance were former Nantes teammate Nicolas Pallois, who carried the coffin alongside Sala's brother Dario, and Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock.

Although Mr Ibbotson, 59, of Crowle, Lincolnshire, was not located, poor weather conditions meant a "difficult decision was taken to bring the overall operation to a close", the Air Accidents Investigation Branch said.

"It was important for us to come and pay the respect to the family", Warnock told AFP.

His body was pulled from the wreckage on February 7 following a privately-funded search which was launched after the initial search was called off three days after the men and their plane went missing.

Speaking at the vigil, he said: 'I have been a manager almost 40 years and I've never known anything like this.

A successful negligence claim against Nantes would reduce the transfer fee that Cardiff owed the French club.

Warnock said: "He was my player, he signed for me". People say "he never played for you" but he was my player.

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