The remains of the footballer Emiliano Sala will be Friday on the Argentine soil where funeral will be held in his native village of Progreso, nearly four weeks after the unexplained accident of the private plane that took him from Nantes to Cardiff, the club where he had just signed.
It is the mayor of the small agricultural town of Pampa who announced the expected return of the body of the country that cries since the confirmation of his death last Friday.
“Emiliano’s body will arrive late Friday afternoon in Progreso,” said Julio Muller, who spoke with the player’s family, some of whom had traveled to Cardiff and Nantes, the club that he had just left, and in the Channel Islands, the nearest land to the point where his plane disappeared on January 21st.
A diplomat confirmed to AFP that the coffin of the footballer would arrive Friday morning at 09H05 (14H05 GMT) by the regular flight of the British Airways company. Emiliano Sala’s family will be at Ezeiza airport, near Buenos Aires, to receive the body, which will then be transported to Progreso in a funeral vehicle.
“We will be able to give him the homage he deserves,” said Diego Solis, former coach and friend of the former FC Nantes player. “For the vigil, the gym is a symbolic place,” he added, in a moving voice.
The funeral of the Argentine player, who also had an Italian passport, will close four weeks of waiting, false hopes and real distress.
“Always in our hearts”
A few days after the disappearance of the plane from Sala, after the research stopped by the British and French authorities, a kitty launched by Sala’s family had raised the necessary amount (more than 300,000 euros) to continue the investigations by a private company.
The location of the wreckage of the single-engine Piper Malibu, on February 3, 20 km north of Guernsey, then the identification five days later, of the only body found inside as that of the attacker of 28 years, had opened the way, in the words of his family, a “grieving” of his relatives, and a repatriation of the victim to Argentina.
The first elements of the investigation of the English justice, Monday, concluding to a death following “head and trunk injuries” have lifted the last obstacles to his return to Progreso.
Tan Sri Vincent Tan, the owner of the Cardiff club where Sala had just been transferred from Nantes, had “offered” to make arrangements to repatriate Sala’s body to Argentina. “Even when he is there, he will always be in our hearts,” he said.
A delegation of players from FC Nantes and FC, Cardiff should go to Progresso to attend the funeral of the player, transferred from the first to the second club for 17 million euros.
On Tuesday, at the same time as the Champions League players made the last of a long series of tributes to Sala, Cardiff, committed to pay the transfer amount “if contractually we are obliged to pay it”, however, fall within the “anomalies” in the contract.
The private plane, chartered by the agent Sala and on board which was, besides the player, that the pilot, David Ibbotson, had left Nantes, after a farewell of Sala to his former teammates, for Cardiff the 21 January at night. He had disappeared from the radar after asking to descend after the passage of the Channel Islands.
The causes of his accident remain mysterious and the body of the pilot was not found. Like the family of Sala, that of David Ibbotson launched a kitty, to finance the pursuit of private research.