‘Eternally in our hearts’: Emiliano Sala’s hometown prepares for funeral

The funeral of Emiliano Sala is set to take place in Argentina following his death in a plane crash over the English Channel.

The footballer’s relatives wept after his body arrived in Buenos Aires on Friday before being taken to his home province of Santa Fe.

The 28-year-old striker died last month, just two days after completing a £15m move from French club Nantes to Cardiff City.

His funeral is taking place in his hometown of Progreso from 10am UK time (7am local time), with Cardiff manager Neil Warnock and chief executive Ken Choo expected to attend.

Martha Kelner, Sky News’ sports correspondent, who is in Progreso, said Sala’s body will be cremated in Santa Fe in line with his family’s wishes.

The Argentinian striker was travelling to Cardiff in a private plane with pilot David Ibbotson when it crashed in the English Channel near Alderney on 21 January.

Sala’s body was recovered from the wreckage on 7 February but Mr Ibbotson remains missing, with funds being raised to continue the search for the 59-year-old from Lincolnshire.

A post-mortem examination confirmed Sala had died from “head and trunk injuries”, Dorset Coroner’s Court heard.

Nantes, for whom Sala scored 42 goals in 120 league appearances, will be represented at his funeral by defender Nicolas Pallois and general secretary Loic Morin.

Sala’s boyhood club, San Martin de Progreso, posted an emotional tribute on Facebook earlier this week, saying: “We are waiting for you… like the first day you left but this time to stay with us forever.

“You went and you are an example for everyone. Eternally in our hearts.”

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