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Body of Emiliano Sala arrives in Argentina

Emiliano Sala was on his way to his new club Cardiff City when his plane crashed into the English Channel.
Emiliano Sala was on his way to his new club Cardiff City when his plane crashed into the English Channel. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

The coffin bearing the body of the footballer Emiliano Sala arrived in Argentina on Friday ahead of his funeral on Saturday in his hometown of Progreso. Sala, 28, died when his plane crashed into the English Channel during a flight on 21 January between the French city of Nantes and the Welsh capital Cardiff.

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Sala had been visiting his former teammates in Nantes to say goodbye following his transfer to the English Premier League side Cardiff City.

The Argentine's body was recovered from the plane wreckage in the English Channel last week. However there is no trace of the 59-year-old pilot David Ibbotson.

The British Airways flight carrying Sala's body landed on Friday morning at Buenos Aires airport. The final rites with the family will take place on Saturday.

"This is a day of historic grief for Progreso," said Daniel Ribero, the president of the San Martin de Progreso club, where Sala played for 10 years before leaving for France. "We could never have imagined this. We are all in a state of shock."

Sala's former team, Nantes, paid tribute to him by playing in an all black kit during Sunday's match against Nimes. Each player's jersey bore his name rather than their own.

Nicolas Pallois, Sala's close friend at Nantes and the Nantes secretary general, Loïc Morin, will represent the club at the funeral.

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