Football pays its respects to Emiliano Sala

Tributes have been paid to Cardiff striker Emiliano Sala as the football family gathered to show their respect to the Argentinian striker.

Sala’s body was formally identified by the Dorset coroner on Thursday night, a day after it was recovered from the underwater wreckage in the English Channel.

The flight carrying Sala from Nantes to Cardiff following his record £15million transfer to the Premier League club two days earlier crashed into the sea near Alderney on January 21.

Cardiff players observe a minute’s silence in honour of the late Emiliano Sala before their Premier League game at Southampton (Mark Kerton/PA)

Lincolnshire pilot David Ibbotson remains missing, with his family having launched a fundraising appeal to find his body.

The Premier League confirmed on Friday that all teams would be wearing black armbands this weekend in honour of the 28-year-old Sala.

Cardiff were also given permission to wear shirts embroidered with a yellow daffodil, the national emblem of Wales and the colour of Sala’s former club Nantes.

A minute’s silence was held before kick-off at St Mary’s on Saturday as the players stood around the centre circle, with Sala’s picture shown on the big screen behind one of the goals.

Cardiff’s Callum Paterson wears a shirt in tribute to late team-mate Emiliano Sala ahead of the Premier League game at Southampton (Mark Kerton/PA)

Bluebirds manager Neil Warnock and his players, who had warmed up before the game in shirts with a picture of Sala on them, had their heads bowed as the tribute was impeccably observed.

“Our thoughts remain with the families of Emiliano and David Ibbotson,” the official Cardiff Twitter account tweeted just before kick-off.

In the earlier lunchtime game between Fulham and Manchester United, the Craven Cottage crowd paid their respects before kick-off with loud applause for Sala.

Sala’s picture was also shown on the big screen alongside that of the Cardiff badge.

Tributes were also paid to Sala throughout the Football League, among them Cardiff’s great rivals Swansea, who held a minute’s silence before their Sky Bet Championship home fixture with Millwall.

- Press Association

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