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  1. ITV Report

Cardiff City set up trust fund in memory of former footballer Emiliano Sala

Sala died in a plane crash last year. Credit: AP
  • By ITV News Sports Producer Dan Salisbury-Jones

Cardiff City are to set up a memorial trust fund in memory of former striker Emiliano Sala who died in a plane crash last year.

ITV News understands the fund is being created in conjunction with Sala’s family lawyers.

"CCFC, in conjunction with the family lawyers, has announced the creation of the Emiliano Sala memorial trust to support his family and footballing projects in his memory," the club said.

The move comes after his former club Nantes accused Cardiff of exploiting his death after the Welsh club complained to French prosecutors about the transfer.

Fans of Sala's former club, Nantes FC, pay tribute to the player at a match. Credit: AP

Bluebirds Chairman Mehmet Dalman will answer questions from supporters on his handling of tragedy at a Q&A tonight.

Sala died in January 2019 when the plane carrying him from France to Wales crashed in the Channel.

The fatal flight happened shortly after he signed for the then Premier League club but before he could play a single match.

Cardiff believe he was not officially their player at the time of the crash and have refused to pay the £15m transfer fee to Nantes.

Nantes FC paid tribute to the footballer one year after his death. Credit: AP

World football’s governing body FIFA demanded Cardiff pay the initial instalment of £5.3m but the case is now going to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

A privately funded rescue effort found wreckage of the Piper Malibu aircraft and recovered the footballer’s body in February last year but pilot David Ibbotson was never found.

An investigation by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch was launched and an interim report found that there was potentially fatal levels of carbon monoxide in Sala’s blood.

The final AAIB findings are expected to be published before the end of March.