Cardiff fans travelled to France as Nantes played tribute to missing Emiliano Sala

Credit: PA

A number of Cardiff fans travelled to France last night to join in with Nantes tribute to their former player Emiliano Sala in their first match since the Argentine went missing.

Sala and pilot, David Ibbotson, disappeared over the English Channel, two days after completing a £15million move to Cardiff City.

Fans laid flowers by a poster of Sala at the ground prior to kick-off, while in the warm-up, players from both sides wore t-shirts with an image of the Argentinian with the caption 'pray for Sala' on the back.

Cardiff fans held up a banner in the stands to mark their respect.

A cover on the centre circle also depicted the same image of the 28-year-old, while Nantes played a video of the striker's goals during his spell at the club as the home side came out wearing shirts with his name on.

As the players conducted the pre-match handshake, three stands put on card displays - one showing the number nine to honour Sala's squad number during his time at the French club, another with the striker's name and the third depicting the Argentina flag before the crowd observed a minute's silence.

In the ninth minute, referee Frank Schneider stopped play for a minute's applause from the crowd and players, which reduced Nantes boss Vahid Halilhodzic to tears.

Nantes were held to a 1-1 draw by St Etienne at the Stade de la Beaujoire.

Read more: Plane seat cushions found in search for missing Emiliano Sala

On Tuesday, two seat cushions were found on a beach near Normandy, which authorities confirmed is 'likely' to have come from the plane carrying the missing Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch have said they have now identified a priority search area of approximately four square nautical miles.