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Hundreds Of People Turn Out For Footballer, Emiliano Sala's Funeral (Photos)

Emiliano Sala's coffin carried through the streets of his hometown as a crowd of mourners watches on


Emiliano Sala's family wept over his coffin as hundreds of the footballer's friends and relatives gathered for his funeral today.


Mourners arrived wearing "Emi" number 9 shirts in tribute to the Cardiff City striker, before his coffin was carried out from his childhood club for a private cremation.


The footballer, who was killed aged 28 in a plane crash along with pilot David Ibbotson, is being laid to rest at a service in Argentina today.


The tragic star's sister, Romina, sobs as her brother's wake ends and his coffin is brought out of the gym


His sister, Romina, wept as her brother's body was moved from his first club this afternoon, San Martin de Progreso, where he played until he was 15.


The star's dad, Horacio, cried and looked to the skies as he watched his son's coffin emerge into the street, as his mum kissed it before sobbing into the arms of former Nantes teammate Nicolas Pallois.


Sala's father weeps as his son's coffin is brought into the street


Pallois helped to carry Sala's coffin to the hearse as hundreds of people came to pay their respects.


Sala's heartbroken aunt, Mirta Taffarel, sobbed earlier today as she said: "I do not understand it.

"I would like to find a responsible person, someone to tell me what has happened, but it only seems that fate led us to this."


Sala had signed for the Bluebirds in a club-record move from Nantes last month, but was killed when the private plane carrying him crash-landed in the English Channel.


His cousin, Martin Gatti, said today he thought the player was "forced" onto the small plane.


He said: "Making him board a plane that was not in good condition, with a pilot who wasn't prepared, alone, at night. Where were the representatives?

"If you happen to be the most important player sold in the history of the club, they could have at least taken care of him, at least they would have taken care of him."


Following the memorial at the club, the striker's body was taken back to the city of Santa Fe for a private crematorium service for family members.


The coffin carrying Sala's body was carefully put into a hearse ahead of the private cremation


Today fans wore the red and black shirt of their local side, and some hung a banner outside the club which said: "Emi, You'll Never Walk Alone."


The town's 3,500 residents are expected to have queued up to say their farewell to the beloved player.


Emiliano Sala’s sister, Romina, was seen leaving the wake looking heartbroken, with reports saying his mother, Mercedes, had remained in the gym all morning.


Devastated friends and relatives clung to each other as they saw Sala's coffin carried out


Romina has been a devastated public figure throughout this tragedy, travelling to the UK and Guernsey to push for the privately funded search that eventually located the football star.


Ahead of the vigil, she wrote on Facebook this morning: "Tell me it’s a nightmare, Emi, come back please brother. Please. Love you so much."


A neighbour of the footballer's father told reporters: "I believe God needed a number nine up there. Now he has it."


Sala's body was driven from Buenos Aires airport to Progreso, around 334 miles northwest of the Argentine capital, for the service today.


Outside the club where the vigil is being held, fans have put up a banner saying "Emi, nunca caminaras soloa" which means "Emi, you'll never walk alone."


Roses were placed on top of the coffin before a private cremation


San Martin de Progreso posted an emotional tribute on Facebook earlier this week, saying: "We are waiting for 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."


Cardiff manager Neil Warnock and chief executive Ken Choo will attend the funeral after flying to his Argentinian home.


Sala's mum wept in the arms of his Nantes' teammate Pallois


Warnock said: "It’s been a very emotional morning.

“I think Mercedes has been an immense woman this morning. Everyone she’s met has had memories of Emiliano and it’s brought tears to her eyes.

“She’s very very proud of her son. We’ve met his father Horacio. His father’s the same and the brother and sister. "




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