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Saturday, February 29, 2020

Nantes to pay tribute to late Emiliano Sala with commemorative jersey

Emiliano Sala died in a plane crash on January 21, 2019, when he was on his way to join the then Premier League club, Cardiff City after being bought from Nantes for £15 million.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: January 21, 2020 7:02:50 pm
Emiliano Sala had died on a plane crash on January 21, 2019. (Source: Twitter)

To pay tribute to the accidental death of Emiliano Sala, his former club Nantes will wear a special commemorative blue-and-white shirt during their Ligue 1 clash against Bordeaux on Sunday.

Nantes, which traditionally plays in yellow-and-green, said on Tuesday that the one-off outfit is available for sale. All profits from the sales will be allocated to Sala’s training clubs in Argentina.

“Because he dreamed of wearing Argentina’s shirt, Nantes players will leave their usual yellow and green jersey for a white and blue tunic,” Nantes said in a statement.

The 28-year-old striker died in an unfortunate plane crash on January 21, 2019, when he was on his way to join the then Premier League club, Cardiff City after being bought from Nantes for £15 million. His body was recovered from the wreckage two weeks later.

Although it was confirmed that the plane had crashed off the Channel island of Guernsey, there are still a lot of unresolved issues surrounding the player’s and the pilot, David Ibottson’s death. As for the fee agreed for the transfer between the two clubs, there’s still an ongoing dispute.

Since Sala’s death, Nantes and Cardiff have been involved in a dispute over transfer fee payments. Last year, Cardiff City filed a court appeal seeking to overturn a FIFA order it must pay Nantes a €6 million first payment for Sala. FIFA ruled in favor of Nantes and warned Cardiff it faces a transfer ban of three trading windows if it refuses to pay when the case is settled.

The Sala family — who suffered another tragic loss when Emiliano’s father Horacio died of a heart attack three months after his son — said their priority was to know all the details of what had happened on that ill-fated night.

“The Sala family will mark the anniversary of the untimely death of Emiliano in private, quiet contemplation of their loss,” the family’s lawyer in Britain, Daniel Machover, said in a statement.

“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.”

British aviation accident investigators said Tuesday they would release their final report into the crash by the end of March.

Nantes also said that a picture of Sala will be displayed in the center circle at Stade de La Beaujoire and a minute’s applause will be held in his memory.

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