Emiliano Sala: fans pay tribute

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Cardiff City’s new signing Emiliano Sala was on a plane that disappeared over the English channel – and now the chances of him and his pilot David Ibbotson being found alive are increasingly slim. Here Tim Hartley from Cardiff City Supporters’ Trust talks about the response from supporters across the country…

Maybe it is too soon after the event to make any sense of the tragedy of the death of Emiliano Sala. Perhaps we never will.

What we do know is that everyone associated with FC Nantes, Cardiff City, indeed the whole football family, are grieving the loss of a young man who was at the top of his game and was genuinely excited about joining his new teammates in the Premier League.

Fans have put aside any rivalry they may have had. The game of football, our club’s prospects, new signings and the fear of relegation have all taken a backseat while we share a common grief. Few in Cardiff had ever seen Emiliano play but we still feel the pain his family and friends in Nantes and Argentina must be feeling.

We at Cardiff have been here before this season. After Leicester City’s owner, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, and four other people died in a helicopter crash, the Foxes’ first game was against Cardiff. There was an outpouring of sympathy as supporters exchanged flags and players and staff from both clubs joined together in an emotional tribute.

It has been gratifying on the loss of Emiliano and his pilot to have received condolences and messages of sympathy from so many supporters’ groups. The coming together of the ‘football family’ may sound something of a cliché but as the selection of messages from fellow fans below shows, when the chips are down, it is very real and we are truly grateful for it.

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