The Cardiff club holds its breath: the fans, in shock, prayed Tuesday for the survival of their new striker Emiliano Sala, missing in a plane over the Channel, and on which they based their hopes of remaining in the Premier League.
The fans gathered in the car park next to Cardiff City Stadium, laying daffodils – one of Wales’ emblems – and blue and white scarves from their football club.
“A new transfer can bring so much joy, that’s what we felt about Sala,” says AFP Josh Thomas, 24, reflecting the thoughts of many other supporters, all filled with hope after the announcement of the arrival at the 18th of the English championship of the one who scored 12 goals in the first half of the season in the league of France with Nantes.
“It was not only our record transfer (17 million euros according to the press, Ed) but also the one that would return the situation and mark the goals allowing us to maintain (in the first division). were going to worship, including me.But so much has changed in a few hours, “he regrets.
– “Hope the best possible outcome” –
Sala, 28, was to join Cardiff Monday night, but the device in which he took place, a single engine, disappeared from radar at about twenty kilometers north of the island of Guernsey, after leaving Nantes.
“To see him (figure) among the three best scorers in France was the proof of the talent of this player and what he would bring to the club”, continues the young supporter. “All we can do is hope for the best possible outcome, that Sala and the pilot are both well and that they are both back.”
Late Tuesday afternoon, Guernsey police reported that the search operations for the passenger plane had been suspended for the night and would resume at sunrise. She felt that the chances of survival of the player and his pilot were “slim” in case of landing.
Emiliano Sala was to participate Tuesday in his first training under his new colors. But the latter was finally canceled by the club management, “the thoughts of the team, the management and the whole club being turned to Emiliano and the pilot” of the plane, said Cardiff General Manager Ken Choo, in a statement.
– “Difficult to achieve” –
“Our owner, Tan Sri Vincent Tan, and our president, Mehmet Dalman, are upset by the situation,” he said. “We continue to pray for positive news,” he added, thanking “the fans and the entire football family for their support in these difficult times.”
This is the second time in a few months that Cardiff has been touched by an air disaster. It was the first club to face Leicester City after the crash of a helicopter carrying English club president Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four others in October. All the passengers were dead.
Keith Morgan, president of the Cardiff Fans’ Association, a club he has been supporting for 50 years, said he was very saddened.
“As with any tragedy, it is difficult to realize, of course, we still hope that it is not confirmed but when or if it is, we will contact Nantes to offer our help,” he said. AFP.
According to him, “the fans have already made contact (…) to offer their sympathy to Cardiff City”.