French league honors Sala, Nantes retires his No 9 jersey

FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019, file photo, a Nantes soccer team supporters stops by a poster of Argentinian player Emiliano Sala and reading "Let's keep hope" outside La Beaujoire stadium before the French soccer League One match Nantes against Saint-Etienne, in Nantes, western France. On Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, the man leading a private search for the missing plane carrying Argentine soccer player Emiliano Sala says the wreckage has been found. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)
In this image released Monday Feb. 4, 2019, by the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) showing the rear left side of the fuselage including part of the aircraft registration N264DB that went missing carrying soccer player Emiliano Sala, when it disappeared from radar contact on Jan. 21 2019. The Air accident investigators say one body is visible in the sea in the wreckage of the plane that went missing carrying soccer player Emiliano Sala and his pilot David Ibbotson. (AAIB via AP)
Nantes players wear jerseys showing Argentinian player Emiliano Sala in La Beaujoire stadium as they train before the French soccer League One match Nantes against Saint-Etienne, in Nantes, western France, Wednesday, Jan.30, 2019. Sala disappeared over the English Channel on Jan. 21, 2019 as it flew from France to Wales. Sala had just been signed by Premier League club Cardiff. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
A stretcher carrying a body is removed from the Geo Ocean III specialist search vessel docked in Portland, England, Thursday Feb. 7, 2019. A body has been recovered from the wreckage of the plane carrying Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson, though the aircraft remains 67 metres underwater 21 miles off the coast of Guernsey in the English Channel after poor weather halted recovery efforts. (Steve Parsons/PA via AP)

LONDON — Tributes are being paid across soccer to Argentine player Emiliano Sala, with the French league announcing a minute's applause before matches.

French club Nantes says it will retire the No. 9 jersey worn by Sala before he was sold last month to Cardiff in the English Premier League.

The 28-year-old Sala was flying to south Wales to start a new chapter in his career when his plane disappeared from radar on Jan. 21 above the English Channel.

The wreckage was found only on Sunday and a body recovered was confirmed as Sala's on Thursday. Authorities are yet to find pilot David Ibbotson, the other person on board the small aircraft.

Nantes says "Emiliano will always be among the legends who have written the great history of Nantes We have lost a friend, a talented player, an exemplary teammate."


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