Le­ices­ter to re­turn to ac­tion Satur­day a er death of owner

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

LE­ICES­TER’S griev­ing play­ers will take to the field for the first time since the death of the club’s owner in a he­li­copter crash when they visit Cardiff for a Pre­mier League game on Satur­day.

The two teams said Tues­day the match will go ahead as planned in the Welsh cap­i­tal, with a minute’s si­lence be­fore kick­off and play­ers wear­ing black arm­bands as a mark of re­spect for Vichai Sri­vad­dhanaprabha and four other peo­ple who were killed in the tragedy.

Le­ices­ter’s play­ers have been vis­i­bly af­fected by the in­ci­dent and have spent Mon­day and Tues­day at­tend­ing com­mem­o­ra­tive events to pay trib­ute to Vichai, the club’s pop­u­lar Thai owner whose he­li­copter spi­raled out of con­trol as it left the King Power Sta­dium fol­low­ing a Pre­mier League game against West Ham on Satur­day.

“We will be of­fer­ing our sup­port to Le­ices­ter City in any way nec­es­sary in re­spect of this week­end’s fix­ture,” Cardiff chief ex­ec­u­tive Ken Choo said.

Le­ices­ter’s English League Cup match against Southamp­ton, sched­uled for Tues­day, had been can­celed, while games in­volv­ing the club’s women’s team were also called off in wake of the crash.

Le­ices­ter opened a book of con­do­lence in­side a spe­cially erected mar­quee in mem­ory of Vichai on Tues­day, as more sup­port­ers and peo­ple from the wider com­mu­nity ar­rived at the sta­dium to pay their re­spects.

Le­ices­ter striker Jamie Vardy and his wife, Re­bekah, wept as they placed a wreath among an ev­er­grow­ing shrine to Vichai that in­cludes flow­ers, scarves and soc­cer jer­seys. Le­ices­ter goal­keeper Kasper Sch­me­ichel, who was present at the scene of the crash on Satur­day, was in tears as flo­ral trib­utes were laid in­side and out­side the King Power Sta­dium on Mon­day.

For­mer Le­ices­ter man­ager Nigel Pear­son, who guided the team away from rel­e­ga­tion trou­ble the sea­son be­fore it won the Pre­mier League in im­prob­a­ble fash­ion in 2016, said Vichai’s “quiet yet au­thor­i­ta­tive aura, pres­ence and per­son­al­ity have had an im­mea­sur­able in­flu­ence on English foot­ball.”

“A man­ager could not have wished for a bet­ter boss,” Pear­son wrote in a per­sonal let­ter pub­lished on the web­site of Bel­gian team OH Leu­ven, where he has been coach since last year. – AP

Photo: As­so­ci­ated Press

Aiyawatt Sri­vad­dhanaprabha, son of Vichai Sri­vad­dhanaprabha, and his mother Ai­mon look at trib­utes placed out­side Le­ices­ter City Foot­ball Club, Eng­land, on Mon­day af­ter a he­li­copter crashed in flames Satur­day.

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