Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Tributes to Emiliano Sala on first anniversary of his death

Argentinian striker Emiliano Sala died in a plane crash on January 21, 2019. Credit: PA Images

Cardiff City players and supporters have paid tribute to Emiliano Sala on the first anniversary of his death.

The Argentinian died on 21st January 2019 when the plane he was in crashed in the English Channel near Guernsey.

A service was held at St David's Cathedral in Cardiff Credit: PA Images

He was on the flight from Nantes in France to Cardiff to join the club he had just signed for.

The 28-year-old footballer's body was recovered from the wreckage, but the pilot, David Ibbotson, has still not been found.

Fans laid flowers and left messages at the Cardiff City Stadium Credit: PA Images

Cardiff manager Neil Harris, captain Sean Morrison and Sol Bamba were among those to attend a service to Sala at St David's Cathedral in Cardiff on Tuesday.

The flag of Argentina was placed inside the cathedral and its national anthem.

Fans also left flowers, banners, and shirts at the Cardiff City Stadium to pay tribute to Sala.

Cardiff captain Sean Morrison attended the service in Cardiff

On the anniversary, Sala's family said their "primary concern" a year after his death is a full inquest.

The Sala family said they would mark the anniversary of his death in "private, quiet contemplation of their loss," but their lawyer said they still want answers.

The family's primary concern remains for the full inquest to take place as soon as possible, so that they can finally learn the truth about what happened and ensure that no family has to suffer a similar preventable loss of a loved one.

– Daniel Machover, Hickman & Rose solicitors
Cardiff City fans laid floral tributes, scarves and shirts in memory of Sala last year. Credit: PA Images

Nantes - for whom Sala scored 42 goals in 120 league games during more than three years at the club - will wear a special commemorative Argentine-inspired shirt at the Ligue 1 home game against Bordeaux on Sunday.

Cardiff unveiled Sala two days before his death, but have argued they were not liable for the full £15m transfer fee because he was not officially their player when he died.

Sala was due to start a new life as a Premier League striker.

The then-Premier League club wereordered to pay the first instalment of Sala's £5.2m transfer fee in September.

Cardiff appealed against the ruling and will go before a court in Switzerland. The final decision is not expected before June 2020.

Ahead of a pre-inquest review, Daniel Machover said it is "imperative" that all investigating bodies give the coroner their final update before February 14.

The police, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Air Accidents Investigation Branch are involved in the investigation.

The CAA "in particular must speed up its work," according to David Machover.

The family said they were 'determined to get answers', with David Mearns, a specialist in deep water recoveries, speaking on their behalf in January last year.

Sala's father Horacio died three months after his son, suffering a heart attack at his home in Progreso.

But he said before his death that all parties involved in the transfer - including clubs and agents - should have made more effort to look after the welfare of his son.

Sala was exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide prior to the crash, a report later revealed.

Read more: