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Sunday, February 17

Premier League

Cardiff City

Cardiff have to move on from Emiliano Sala tragedy, says Warnock

Sala's body was formally identified by the Dorset coroner on Thursday night.
By Phil Blanche, | 8d

Neil Warnock accepts Cardiff have to move on after the discovery of Emiliano Sala’s body, which he says has brought “peace and comfort” to the Argentinian striker’s family.

Sala’s body was formally identified by the Dorset coroner on Thursday night, a day after it was recovered from the underwater wreckage in the English Channel.

The flight carrying Sala from Nantes to Cardiff following his record £15million transfer to the Premier League club two days earlier crashed into the sea near Alderney on January 21. Pilot David Ibbotson remains missing.

“There are certain aspects of that for me, meeting Emiliano, but the players have grasped that we have to move on and now we’ve got 13 cup finals.”

Cardiff owner Vincent Tan expressed the condolences of the club to Sala’s family and said Cardiff would continue to work with the Air Accidents Investigation Branch to determine the cause of the crash.

Tan said in a statement: “I wish to express my deepest heartfelt condolences to the family of Emiliano Sala for their loss. May Emiliano’s soul rest in peace. I am personally very sad over this incident. This fine young man would have been very happy and successful at Cardiff City where he would have made a new home and many friends.

“Cardiff City will continue to work with the AAIB and investigators to find out how the crash happened and to assist Emiliano’s family. We have offered to them to arrange to take Emiliano back to rest with his family in Argentina. Even though he will be there his soul will always be in our hearts. We feel a tremendous loss but the biggest loss is borne by Sala’s family.

“May Sala’s soul rest in peace.”

Tributes at Cardiff City Stadium for Emiliano Sala (Aaron Chown/PA)

The Welsh club have asked the Premier League to again wear commemorative shirts at Southampton on Saturday.

Last weekend’s 2-0 win against Bournemouth saw Cardiff play in shirts with a yellow daffodil on them, the national emblem of Wales and the colour of Sala’s former club Nantes.

Both Southampton and Cardiff are expected to wear black armbands at St Mary’s and a minute’s silence will be observed before kick-off.

“I always thought he was a scruffy type of player who would score 10 to 15 goals every year at the top level,” Warnock said in tribute to the 28-year-old, who played for Bordeaux before joining Nantes in 2015.

“He was a Neil Warnock type of player. Someone who works hard as a team player, but can also do something special. He wasn’t a young kid, he was at his prime, but he knew he had things to prove.

Daffodils were left as a tribute to Sala at Cardiff’s stadium (Aaron Chown/PA)

“He’d been in a comfort zone in France, but had improved every few years and was ready to make that step up.

“I thought he could score goals in the Premier League and he had all the ingredients to mix into our dressing room.”

Nantes and Cardiff are involved in a dispute over the Sala transfer, with the French club having demanded that the first £5.27million instalment be paid within the next week.

Cardiff have withheld the first scheduled payment until they have clarified the facts surrounding the documentation of the transfer.

Warnock is not involved in the transfer of finances to Nantes (Aaron Chown/PA)

“The least of my worries is the record signing, finance does not come into it from my point of view,” Warnock said.

“I couldn’t be more grateful to Ken (Choo, chief executive) and Mehmet (Dalman, chairman), they are keeping everything away from me.

“Off the field, they are dealing with all that, and that’s the way to move forward.

“I’ve got enough on my plate dealing with the football on the field.”



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1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
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7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
8Watford2610793434037
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10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
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12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411
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