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SPORTS | 14-02-2019 11:48

Cardiff manager Warnock to fly to Argentina for Emiliano Sala's funeral

Welsh club's manager and chief executive will attend Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala's funeral in his hometown of Progreso in Argentina on Saturday, club confirms.

Cardiff City Manager Neil Warnock and Chief Executive Ken Choo will attend Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala's funeral in his hometown of Progreso in Santa Fe province on Saturday, the English Premier league club that signed him shortly before his death told AFP today.

Their attendance was confirmed by club spokesman Mark Denham in an email on Thursday.

The 28-year-old had signed for Cardiff City and was flying to his new team from his old club Nantes in France when his light aircraft went missing over the Channel on January 21.

The striker's body was recovered last week but pilot David Ibbotson is still missing. The plane remains under the sea.

Sala's body is due to be returned to Argentina on Friday, the mayor of his hometown of Progreso had earlier told the news agency. After the body is repatriated, a wake will be held at his boyhood club San Martín de Progreso.

An inquest in England concluded that the footballer died of "head and trunk injuries" and an investigation into the incident is ongoing.

Player's tribute

Cardiff City captain Sol Bamba dedicated his goal and a 2-1 victory over Southampton to Emiliano Sala after an emotional match for the Welsh club last Saturday.

The weekend's fixtures were the first round of Premier League games since the player's death was confirmed earlier this week.

"A lot of things were going through my mind. I knew Emiliano. I know he was looking up there. The victory and the goal is for him," said Bamba.

The plane carrying Sala from the French city of Nantes to Cardiff, his new club, disappeared near the British island of Guernsey on January 21.

Pilot David Ibbotson remains missing. His family have launched a fundraising campaign to find his remains.

Before Saturday's kick-off, a minute's silence in memory of Sala was impeccably observed at Southampton's St Mary's Stadium.

Ivorian defender Bamba gave Cardiff a 69th-minute lead only for Southampton to equalise in stoppage time.

But Kenneth Zohore scored a 93rd-minute winner that took Cardiff out of the relegation zone.   

"It has been a tough couple of weeks," Bamba told Sky Sports. "We knew we had to give our all today. It wasn't easy but a performance like this was very pleasing."

Warnock was proud of his side's resilience as he paid his own post-match tribute to Sala.

"Emiliano was a fabulous lad, and it's appropriate we came down with our black armbands on and put in a performance like that," he said.

"We could easily have folded, but we were determined. We're limited, but you can't question their character and what they've got under their shirts because they've bags of heart."

- TIMES/AFP

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