Nantes Game Stopped In 9th Minute To Pay Tribute To Emiliano Sala
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There were hugely emotional scenes during Nantes' game against Saint Etienne, with the match stopped in the ninth minute in tribute to Emiliano Sala.
Play is stopped with nine minutes on the clock in honour of Emiliano Sala :yellow_heart::green_heart: pic.twitter.com/o42QRDxKaI- Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) January 30, 2019
It was Nantes' first home game since the Argentine went missing and his former teammates all wore his number on the back of their shirts to remember him.
A huge banner of the 28-year old was also placed in the centre-circle and there was a stunning mosaic created by the home fans.
And then, in a truly incredible moment, the referee blew his whistle and brought the game to a halt as soon as the game entered minute number nine - the squad number Sala wore for Nantes.
The players and staff, along with the fans in the stands then erupted into a wonderful applause. A real classy gesture from the referee.
Nantes manager Vahid Halilhodzic was visibly upset and struggled to hold back tears as he watched on from the bench.
Nantes manager Vahid Halilhodzic incredibly emotional, fighting back tears, as Les Canaris play without Emiliano Sala for the 1st time. pic.twitter.com/GniEIUtwec- Get French Football News (@GFFN) January 30, 2019
Last night, Arsenal showed their class for the visit of Cardiff as they included Sala's name on the teamsheet. Instead of a shirt number, however, the Gunners included a daffodil next to his name.
It follows the devastating news earlier today that plane seats were discovered on the French coast, with reports saying they 'likely' came from Sala's plane.
BBC reporter Dan Roan said in a tweet that French authorities were dealing with the find and that it had been confirmed the parts were 'likely' from the plane carrying the Argentine player and pilot, David Ibbotson.
He said: "Air Accidents Investigation Branch says French counterparts found part of a seat cushion on beach nr Surtainville on the Cotentin Peninsula.
"A 2nd cushion was found in the same area and they have concluded it's 'likely' they are from missing aircraft that carried Emiliano Sala."
Striker Sala had only just signed for the Bluebirds for £15 million on Saturday (January 19) and was travelling from Nantes - where his previous club is based - to meet up with his new teammates in Wales.
However, the small plane that he was travelling on disappeared from radar visibility near to the Channel Islands at about 8.30pm on Monday, 21 January, and has not been seen since.
Following the news, fans travelled to Cardiff City's stadium to lay tributes to the lost player.
Rescue teams had been out searching for the lost plane, however Guernsey Police confirmed last week they are 'no longer actively searching' for the plane.