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Minute silence for Sala at all UEFA games

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A minute silence is to be held to honor Emiliano Sala at all games across the UEFA Champions League and Europa League this week.

The soccer world is in mourning after Sala was confirmed dead last week. The Argentine striker, 28, was killed when a plane he was traveling in from Nantes, France to Cardiff, Wales crashed into the English Channel on Jan. 21.

Sala had just completed his move to Cardiff City in the Premier League as their club-record signing and was flying back for his first training session in Wales after saying goodbye to his former teammates at Nantes.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin released the following statement confirming a minute of silence will be held across their games this week.

“On behalf of everyone at UEFA, I would like to express my sincerest condolences to the family and loved ones of Emiliano Sala for their loss,” Ceferin said. “I am deeply saddened that his life was so cruelly taken away at such a young age and I urge supporters across the continent to pay their respects to his memory over the coming days.”

A minute silence was held before Cardiff’s game with Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday, while a coroner in the English county of Dorset released details on Monday about the cause of Salah’s death.

The pilot of the small aircraft which crashed into the English Channel, David Ibbotson, has not been found and an online petition has been set up to try and find him.

Coroner: Sala died of head, torso injuries in plane crash

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A post-mortem has revealed that Emiliano Sala died of head and torso injuries when the plane he was in crashed into the English Channel on Jan. 21.

The body of the Argentine striker was found last week among plane wreckage on the seabed and coroners in the English County of Dorset released their findings on Monday, three weeks to the day since the tragic crash.

Sala, 28, became Cardiff City’s club-record signing on Jan. 19 and was flying back from his former club Nantes to Cardiff take part in his first training session with the Premier League club.

The pilot of the small aircraft he was on, David Ibbotson, has yet to be found.

Home Office pathologist Dr Basil Purdue said the cause of Sala’s death was due to “head and trunk injuries.”

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch investigation say that the full investigation into the crash could take up to 12 months, while a pre-inquest review hearing was set for Nov. 6.

Mbappe donates $35K to fund search for missing pilot Ibbotson

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Kylian Mbappe has donated about $35,000 to a fund set up by the family of missing pilot Dave Ibbotson, who was lost at sea while flying Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala from Wales to France.

The Paris Saint-Germain star, 20, sent the funds under the name Elie Lottin. He also donated $1,300 to the search to find Sala, and his full name is Kylian Mbappe Lottin.

[ MORE: Tributes to Sala ]

Sala’s body was recovered and identified only after a second search was funded, and Ibbotson’s family fears they may never recover the body of the pilot without significant financial help.

“We cannot bear the thought of him being alone, we need him home so that we are able to lay him to rest.”

Look past Mbappe’s massive bank account here; The 20-year-old has shown a grace and conscience unseen from many a person, let alone athlete, previously donating a half-million dollars in World Cup winnings to an organization that sets up sporting events for kids with disabilities.

Broadcaster and former Leicester star Gary Lineker also donated $1,300 to the search for Ibbotson.

The page’s fundraising goal is about $388,000. It has currently has raised about $156,000, and Mbappe’s donation will help spread the word for sure. The page is here.

Cardiff after huge win: ‘Sala was looking from up there’

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Cardiff City have had a horrendous few weeks off the pitch, but on the pitch they are doing everything they can to stay in the Premier League.

Just a few days after Emiliano Sala was confirmed dead, Southampton and Cardiff paid tribute to the Argentine striker and Cardiff’s club-record signing before their game on Saturday with a minute’s silence and they wore black armbands.

Cardiff then went out onto the pitch and won the match in the 94th minute to drag themselves out of the bottom three.

Their captain Sol Bamba, who scored the opener to spark wild, emotional scenes in the away end with his celebration, spoke to Sky Sports after the game.

“It can’t get better, scoring the first goal in front of our fans. A lot goes through your mind. I know Emiliano Sala was looking from up there so it’s good to get the three points.”

Cardiff put in a perfect away display to seal their first back-to-back wins in the top-flight since 1962 and Neil Warnock‘s side have now leapfrogged Southampton, Burnley and Newcastle to move out of the bottom three.

Warnock revealed that Cardiff felt the extra responsibility to pull of a huge win for Sala.

“We wanted to do it for Emiliano and I’m really proud the lads have done him justice,” Warnock said.

Everyone connected with Cardiff has gone through a tough time over the past few weeks and these two wins have shown the togetherness of the playing and coaching squad during such a tragic period.

Nantes to retire number 9 shirt in Sala tribute

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Nantes has gone to great lengths to remember Emiliano Sala after his body was recovered from the airplane wreckage located in the English Channel and identified on Thursday.

Sala played four years at Nantes and made 133 appearances before his transfer to Cardiff City, and the French club is honoring his memory by retiring its number 9 jersey in his name. There will be a ceremony at Sunday’s match against fellow Ligue 1 side Nimes, and all ticket prices have been reduced €9 as part of his remembrance, ensuring that the stadium will be full for the pre-match event.

A club retiring the number 9 jersey is a massive honor, as it often is worn by the team’s main striker and is often worn as a symbol of goalscoring prowess. Players flock to the jersey number to show fans, opponents, and sponsors they are an important member of the squad.

“I don’t have the words. It’s a tragedy, I’m crushed,” Nantes president Waldemar Kita said. “Emiliano left his mark. “That’s why, like many fans, I wish to honor him by retiring the number nine.”

Sala wore number 9 at Nantes and scored 48 goals in his 133 appearances for the club, with 42 of those goals coming in Ligue 1 play. He was on fire this season prior to his departure, scoring 12 goals in 19 Ligue 1 appearances. He had not scored more than 12 goals a season in his three full campaigns with Nantes prior.