Striker Emiliano Sala funeral takes place in Argentina
PROGRESSO – The funeral of Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala took place in his home village in Argentina on Saturday three weeks after he was killed in a plane crash.
A public vigil was held in a gymnasium in Progreso, the modest village in the province of Santa Fe which Sala left as a teenager to forge a career in Europe.
The 28-year-old died last month just two days after completing a Cardiff club-record £15 million ($19.3 million, 17.1 million euros) move from French club Nantes.
The single-engine private plane carrying Sala and pilot David Ibbotson crashed in the English Channel near Alderney on January 21. Sala had returned to Nantes to say goodbye to his former teammates before flying back to Wales.
The player's body was recovered from the submerged wreckage on February 7 but 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 Neil Warnock and chief executive Ken Choo both travelled to Argentina to attend the ceremony.
Sala, a lanky striker, began his career at San Martin de Progreso, and the local club was at the centre of Saturday's ceremony.
"People will be able to pass by the coffin, leave a letter, a drawing or flowers," the club's president, Daniel Ribero, told AFP.
"He represented a lot for us. We're a small village and Emi was a celebrity, the only player to turn professional."
Nantes, for whom Sala scored 42 goals in 120 league appearances, will be represented by the defender Nicolas Pallois and general secretary Loic Morin.AFP