FOOTBALLER Emiliano Sala’s body will be returned to Argentina on Friday for a vigil in the gym next to his boyhood club.
The Cardiff City striker’s body was recovered from plane wreckage in the English Channel on February 6.
Emiliano Sala pictured as a 15-year-old junior footballer Club Atletico Social San Martin in his home town of Progreso, in Argentina[/caption]
The single-engine aircraft was carrying Cardiff’s £15m record signing to the city from former club Nantes when it crash-landed on January 21.
The plane had requested to descend then lost contact with Jersey air traffic control.
After an official search was axed, a £324,000 private one found the plane on February 3. Sala’s body was recovered three days later.
Pilot David Ibbotson remains missing.
Julio Muller, mayor of his hometown of Progreso in Argentina, said Sala’s “mother, sister and brother have already arrived in Progreso”.
He said Sala’s remains would reach Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires around 9am on Friday.
The footballer’s body will then be taken on a six-hour journey to his boyhood club San Martín de Progreso, where he played until he was 15 years old.
San Martín president Daniel Ribero said: “Emi’s body is going to reach Argentina from Europe on Friday and on Saturday we will spend several hours saying farewell to him at the club”.
SALA KILLED BY HEAD AND UPPER BODY INJURIES
An inquest on Monday heard Sala was killed by head and upper body injuries.
They were caused by the impact of his light aircraft plunging into the Channel.
The striker, 28, was identified by fingerprints.
Coroner’s officer Ian Parry said: “The plane was located on the seabed in international waters.”
The Bournemouth inquest was adjourned.
Once probes by crash experts and aviation chiefs end, a November 6 review will pave the way for the case to resume.
Meanwhile, the family of Mr Ibbotson have spoken of their determination to find and recover the body of the man they described as “our rock”.
The dad-of-three Mr Ibbotson, from Scunthorpe, told pals he was feeling “a bit rusty” just days before the doomed aircraft vanished.
His wife Nora said: “We just know we can’t leave him out there on his own until we have tried to do everything we can”.
Half of a £300,000 target has been raised for a private search.
Sala, 28, was a Cardiff City club-record signing when he transferred from French side Nantes[/caption]
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