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Funeral of footballer Emiliano Sala takes place in Argentina

The 28-year-old striker died in a plane crash on 21 January.

Tributes To Emiliano Sala - Nantes Source: ANDBZ/ABACA

THE FUNERAL OF Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala is taking place in his home village in Argentina three weeks after he died in a plane crash.

A public vigil was held in Progreso, a village in the province of Santa Fe which Sala left as a teenager to forge his career in Europe.

Sala’s father, mother, sister and friends were seen arriving at the ceremony and dozens of local people filed in after them.

The 28-year-old died on 21 January just two days after completing a €17 million move to the Premier League club from French club Nantes.

The single-engine private plane carrying Sala and pilot David Ibbotson crashed in the English Channel near Alderney. Sala had been flying back to Wales after returning to France to say goodbye to his former teammates.

The player’s body was recovered from the submerged wreckage on 7 February. Ibbotson remains missing, with funds being raised to continue the search for the 59-year-old.

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock and the club’s chief executive Ken Choo both travelled to Argentina to attend the ceremony.

Nantes, for whom Sala scored 42 goals in 120 league appearances, were represented by the defender Nicolas Pallois and general secretary Loic Morin.

Sala began his career at San Martin de Progreso, and the local club was at the centre of today’s ceremony.

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“People will be able to pass by the coffin, leave a letter, a drawing or flowers,” the club’s president, Daniel Ribero has said. 

“He represented a lot for us. We’re a small village and Emi was a celebrity, the only player to turn professional.”

- © AFP 2019

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