Beau­ti­ful game? Not re­ally

Southamp­ton Fans Taunt Cardiff With Aero­plane Ges­tures, Face Ban

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES SPORT -

London: Southamp­ton have promised to ban sup­port­ers in­volved in mock­ing the death of Emil­iano Sala by mak­ing aero­plane ges­tures dur­ing their match at home to Cardiff City on Satur­day. The Pre­mier League fix­ture was Cardiff ’s first since the Ar­gen­tinian striker’s body was for­mally iden­ti­fied by an English coro­ner on Thurs­day, a day af­ter it was re­cov­ered from un­der­wa­ter wreck­age in the Chan­nel.

How­ever, af­ter the game video on so­cial me­dia ap­peared to show two men in the home sec­tion of St Mary’s Sta­dium seem­ingly mak­ing aero­plane ges­tures in the di­rec­tion of the away sup­port­ers. Southamp­ton con­firmed both fans had been spo­ken to by po­lice and in­tended to take “an ex­tremely firm stance” over the in­ci­dent. “Southamp­ton Foot­ball Club can con­firm that two fans were de­tained and had their de­tails taken by po­lice dur­ing our match against Cardiff City on Satur­day,” said a state­ment from the club. “The club will con­tinue to work with Hamp­shire Po­lice to iden­tify any in­di­vid­u­als deemed to have made in­de­cent ges­tures to­wards Cardiff sup­port­ers.

“Such be­hav­iour has no place in our game and will not be tol­er­ated at St Mary’s.

“The club will be tak­ing an ex­tremely firm stance against any­one in­volved and in­tends to ban those sup­port­ers iden­ti­fied,” the state­ment added. Be­fore Satur­day’s kick-off there was an im­pec­ca­bly ob­served minute’s si­lence at the ground with Cardiff go­ing on to win 2-1 thanks to Ken­neth Zo­hore’s dra­matic goal in the third minute of stop­page time which saw them climb out of the rel­e­ga­tion zone.

Vic­tory and goal for Sala: Cardiff cap­tain

Cardiff cap­tain Sol Bamba, who had given his side the lead, ded­i­cated his goal and the vic­tory to Sala. “A lot of things were go­ing through my mind. I knew Emil­iano. I know he was look­ing up there. The vic­tory and the goal is for him,” said Bamba.

The plane car­ry­ing Sala from the French city of Nantes to Cardiff, his new club, dis­ap­peared near the Bri­tish is­land of Guernsey on Jan­uary 21. Pilot David Ib­bot­son re­mains miss­ing. His fam­ily have launched a fundrais­ing cam­paign to find his re­mains. Cardiff had been given per­mis­sion by the Pre­mier League to wear shirts em­broi­dered with a yel­low daf­fodil, the na­tional em­blem of Wales and the team colour of Nantes.

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