Cardiff and Arsenal pay tribute to missing Emiliano Sala

LONDON: Tributes were paid to missing Emiliano Sala before Cardiff City's Premier League clash at Arsenal on an emotional night at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday.

Cardiff were playing for the first time since the light aircraft carrying new signing Sala to join up with his team mates disappeared over the English Channel last Monday.

Sol Bamba, Cardiff's captain, carried daffodils onto the pitch while Arsenal skipper Mesut Ozil also laid a floral tribute to the 28-year-old who is presumed dead.

One banner held by Cardiff fans read: "We never saw you play, we never saw you score, but Emiliano, our beautiful Bluebird, we will love you forever more."

Sala's family had requested that black arm bands were not worn by the players, but Cardiff fans held up yellow placards in the away end. Sala's name was also listed in the Cardiff squad in the matchday programme, with a daffodil symbol rather than a squad number next to his name.

The daffodil is a symbol of Welsh identity.

An image of Sala, who never played a match for Cardiff, was shown on the video screens around the ground.

Sala signed from French club Nantes in a club record deal and was flying back to Britain when the single-engined plane he was in vanished.

No trace of the plane, being flown by pilot David Ibbotson, has been found and an official search has been called off.

Sala's family have continued a private search and have raised almost $420,000 on a GoFundMe page. ($1 = 0.8747 euros)