Southampton have confirmed two fans were detained by police after making "indecent gestures" during the Premier League match against Cardiff City, where respects were paid to the late Emiliano Sala.

Video footage shared on social media showed men mimicking planes at St Mary's and the Saints confirmed authorities had taken the details of two individuals.

Sala's body was recovered from a plane wreckage in the English Channel this week after the Piper Malibu aircraft that was carrying him and pilot David Ibbotson disappeared on January 21.

Southampton asserted their intention to ban anybody found to be involved in taunting the travelling Cardiff fans.

A statement from the club read: "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.

"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."

Tributes to Sala were paid before the match, which Cardiff won 2-1, with both sets of players observing a moment's silence.

Both Sol Bamba and Neil Warnock were proud to have won for Emiliano Sala after Cardiff City snatched a dramatic victory at Southampton on Saturday.

Cardiff were in action at St Mary's for the first time since the body of record signing Sala, discovered in plane wreckage in the English Channel, was identified.

Goals from Bamba and Kenneth Zohore - the latter in the third minute of injury time, having been pegged back moments earlier - saw the Bluebirds win for the second week running in the Premier League.

The victory saw Warnock's men climb out of the relegation zone and both the manager and captain Bamba were keen to pay tribute to Sala afterwards.

"It's been a tough couple of weeks," Bamba said. "We knew we had to come here and get a result and it wasn't easy.

"But to put in a performance like this is very good and we're very pleased at the end. It's a massive boost, especially at this stage of the season.

"We want to build momentum and have a run of games, so it was good to get the win and hopefully we can build on that.

"It can't get better, scoring the first goal in front of our fans. A lot goes through your mind. I know Emiliano Sala was looking from up there, so it's good to get the three points."

Following up a home success against Bournemouth, this was the first time Cardiff had won consecutive top-flight matches since April 1962.

Warnock added to BBC Sport: "The crowd have been amazing, you saw them today.

"I'm really pleased for them because it's a long way to come and they deserve that. In the last few weeks, they've stuck with us. It's been difficult for everybody.

"I thought today was appropriate, it was the first time since 1962 we've got back-to-back wins [in the top flight] and I think, for Emiliano, I feel really proud that the lads have done him justice."

Nantes will request to move fixtures if required so players can attend the funeral of Emiliano Sala, head coach Vahid Halilhodzic has confirmed.

Dorset Police announced on Thursday the body recovered from a plane wreckage in the English Channel was that of the striker, while pilot David Ibbotson remains missing.

Nantes, who sold Sala to Cardiff last month, have cut ticket prices to €9 for Sunday's Ligue 1 game at home to Nimes to allow as many supporters as possible to pay tribute.

And Halilhodzic said the club will seek fixture rearrangements if necessary so players are able to travel to Sala's funeral, with his body set to be transported to Argentina.

"Of course, we will ask. Now, how and what we are going to do are something else. I do not have the proper information yet. We'll see," he told a news conference on Friday.

"I do not know what we are going to do yet. Earlier, we will discuss with some players who were very close to him. We already played three games in this situation. We have to be strong. It was so unexpected and sad. We have to move on but I am telling you, that's not easy. Not easy at all.

"We always had hope. We knew that, it was thin, that it was almost utopian, an illusion. Unfortunately, I suspected two days ago of this truth - terrible, unjust. I know that the situation is different for Emiliano and the pilot's families. Things are still terrible.

"We must now pay tribute to someone who will leave an eternal mark in this club by his behaviour, his modesty, and not only as a player. He has really been unanimously loved everywhere. I have seen almost everyone in the sport industry pay homage to him.

"Just now, before the training, we will do a small ceremony to honour him with dignity and modesty, as he was. After, can we work or not, it's something else."

Cardiff have confirmed they will work with the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) in a bid to find out why the plane came down.

"I wish to express my deepest heartfelt condolences to the family of Emiliano Sala for their loss," said the club's owner Vincent Tan in a statement. 

"May Emiliano's soul rest in peace. I am personally very sad over this incident. This fine young man would have been very happy and successful at Cardiff City where he would have made a new home and many friends.

"Cardiff City will continue to work with the AAIB and investigators to find out how the crash happened and to assist Emiliano's family. We have offered to them to arrange to take Emiliano back to rest with his family in Argentina.

"Even though he will be there his soul will always be in our hearts. We feel a tremendous loss but the biggest loss is borne by Sala's family. May Sala's soul rest in peace."

Sala's family said the identification of his body will help to bring them closure.

"We would like to thank you for all your signs of affection and support in what is the most painful time of our lives," a widely reported statement from the family read.

"Seeing the whole world mobilised to support us in our research has been an infinitely precious help. Thanks to you, we are now able to mourn our son, our brother.

"On this Friday morning, our thoughts go to David Ibbotson and his family, hoping that the authorities will do their best to find him."

Sala's sister Romina wrote on Instagram: "Your soul in my soul, it will shine forever thus illuminating the time of my existence. I love you, tito."

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock believes Emiliano Sala's family finally have peace after confirmation that the body recovered from a plane wreckage in the English Channel was that of the striker.

The UK's Air Accidents Investigation Branch confirmed on Wednesday that a body had been passed to the Dorset Coroner, having been recovered with the help of specialist contractors, and it was identified as Sala a day later.

The Piper Malibu aircraft disappeared with Sala and pilot David Ibbotson aboard on January 21, with the 28-year-old en route to Cardiff having completed a club-record transfer from Ligue 1 side Nantes.

Tributes have been paid to the striker from across the world of football since the news broke on Thursday, which has had a warming impact on Warnock, and he is relieved Sala's family finally have some closure.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Warnock said: "While everybody expects the worst when it happens, I got a phone call last night and it was strange.

"It brings the family peace, offers them comfort – that's what Sharon [Warnock's wife] said from the start. I don't know how it's affected the players, one or two have always been a little sensitive.

"When I think I've seen it all in football, our fans keep surprising me every week now. I don't think there's anything that would surprise me with them, and the Arsenal fans, Bournemouth fans, fans from clubs all over.

"When something like this happens it brings all the football family together. It shows that everybody is thinking on the same wavelength and it's a loss to everyone in football.

"When you look at the finances they were able to raise [via crowdfunding] to enable the search in the first place, I found that amazing. The response has been unbelievable.

"That might have surprised everyone. To get that response is just amazing, and I'm sure anybody in the circumstances would have done that. It shows football isn't all bad news, hooliganism and everything else.

"I don't think I have to mention Emiliano [in his pre-Southampton team talk]. The tributes will have an impact. I've asked the Premier League if we can wear shirts with the daffodils and I'm sure they'll allow that.

"I wanted to mention David [Ibbotson, the pilot]. I'm sure his family will be going through hell. Our thoughts are with him and his family."

After Sala's disappearance was first confirmed, Warnock suggested the matter had made him consider his future as a manager, however he says his comments were blown out of proportion.

"I think that was a little bit over the top," he said. "As always, you get certain tabloids creating stories - but I went in the local paper and put that to bed.

"Anybody that saw us play the last couple of games will know we're up for it. It's a challenge we want to face head-on."

Nantes have announced they will retire their number nine jersey after the body recovered from a plane wreckage in the English Channel was confirmed as that of former striker Emiliano Sala.

The UK's Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) confirmed on Wednesday that a body had been passed to the Dorset Coroner, having been recovered with the help of specialist contractors, and it was identified as Sala a day later.

The Piper Malibu aircraft disappeared with Sala and pilot David Ibbotson aboard on January 21, with the 28-year-old en route to Cardiff City having completed a club-record transfer from Ligue 1 side Nantes.

Sala had been a fan favourite at Nantes prior to his transfer, having scored 42 Ligue 1 goals in the last three-and-a-half years, with 12 of those coming in just 19 appearances this season.

Following Thursday's announcement, Nantes president Waldemar Kita confirmed the striker's number nine shirt would be retired as a mark of respect.

"I don't have the words. It's a tragedy, I'm crushed," Kita said. "Emiliano left his mark. 

"That's why, like many fans, I wish to honour him by retiring the number nine."

Kita's comments were part of club statement that expressed the devastation caused by the loss of their former frontman.

It read: "Nantes had the immense sadness on Thursday to learn that the body found was that of Emiliano Sala.

"This news puts an end to interminable and unbearable waiting. Emiliano will forever be one of the legends who has written the great history of Nantes.

"There are difficult mornings, nightmarish awakenings, where unhappily reality hits us. Emi is gone.

"Emiliano Sala arrived on the backs of the Edre in July 2015 and knew how to win the hearts of the Nantes supporters.

"With his work, his desire and his kindness without limits, he finished as the club's top scorer in his three seasons.

"The homages paid to him nationally and internationally match the player and person that he was. Today, we have lost a friend, a talented player and an exemplary team-mate.

"We can't forget in this drama the pilot and his family and have confidence that the authorities will continue their search.

"Nantes, its board, its staff and its players, wish to pass the families of Emiliano Sala and David Ibbotson their deepest condolences. We will never forget you Emi.

"He's an Argentine who never gives up, Emiliano Sala, Emiliano Sala…"

The French Football Federation (FFF) and the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) have led the tributes to Emiliano Sala.

Dorset Police confirmed on Thursday the body recovered from a plane wreckage in the English Channel was identified as that of the Cardiff City striker.

Ligue 1 matches will have a minute of applause before kick-off this weekend in honour of the former Nantes striker, who became Cardiff's record signing last month.

"It is with great sadness that we must acknowledge and admit the death of Emiliano, who disappeared on January 21 in tragic circumstances," said FFF president Noel Le Graet. "We hope that all the light will be shed on the causes of this accident, which raises many questions.

"Emiliano was an exemplary player, a figure of Ligue 1. He was appreciated by everyone on and off the pitch. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.

"In this difficult moment, I also have a special thought for his friends, his former team-mates and the Nantes fans, who since the accident have not stopped expressing their attachment, their hope, their sorrow and have paid tribute."

Nathalie Boy de la Tour, president of the LFP, added: "On a personal level and like so many others, my heart is infinitely painful. Emiliano Sala embodied the joy of living, kindness, generosity and simplicity.

"The tribute paid to Emiliano during the Nantes-Saint-Etienne match demonstrated how much football can show solidarity to honour one of its family. Nantes have shown unfailing support to the family and friends of Emiliano.

"At the same time, many players and authorities responded to the call to support searches to find the missing plane and offer an answer to his family. This surge of solidarity that has gone beyond the borders of our championship demonstrates how much football is able to bring individuals together far beyond the pitch. This is its essential strength.

"We will all be united to pay a last tribute to Emiliano before the kick-off of this weekend's matches. On behalf of French professional football, I wanted to thank each and every one of you for your support of Emiliano Sala's family, who will remain forever in our hearts."

When Cardiff City and Nantes debated over whether Emiliano Sala would be allowed to play one last match for the French club last month, nobody could have anticipated the desperate turn of events that would make such a matter feel so incredibly trivial.

During negotiations between the two clubs, Nantes had reportedly been keen for Sala to feature for them one last time against Angers, but it was Cardiff who eventually got their way and the Argentine striker's club-record move to the Welsh capital was confirmed on the eve of that match.

It was a story typical of the January transfer window – a buying club tenaciously chasing mid-season reinforcements but facing stubbornness from a selling club determined not to be left in the lurch by the loss of one of their key players.

Typical, that is, until a Piper Malibu aircraft transporting Sala to Wales from western France disappeared over the English Channel late on Monday, January 21.

Following a three-day operation covering approximately 1,700 square miles around the Channel Islands, a statement issued by Guernsey Police from harbour master Captain David Barker confirmed active search and rescue efforts had been abandoned after his team had been "unable to find any trace of the aircraft, the pilot or the passenger". At that stage, chances of survival were considered "extremely remote".

As an extensive outpouring of grief and sympathy from across the football community continued, a number of high-profile figures and members of the public answered the Sala family's calls to fund a private search.

That operation located the plane wreckage on the seabed and the body of a victim, which police announced had been identified as that of Sala late on Thursday.

Sala's professional breakthrough came at Proyecto Crecer in his homeland – a youth academy with links to Ligue 1 side Bordeaux, who spotted his talent and brought him to Europe in 2012.

Although his time at Bordeaux demanded patience – Sala only made 11 league appearances for the club over three years – loan periods at Orleans, Niort and Caen gave him a platform to demonstrate his abilities.

Nineteen goals in 37 matches at third-tier Orleans, 18 in 37 league games with Ligue 2 outfit Niort and then five in 13 top-flight appearances with Caen – a period in which he played alongside N'Golo Kante and Thomas Lemar – convinced Nantes to take him to Stade de la Beaujoire on a five-year contract in 2015, paying a reported €1million for his services.

Sala quickly became a regular starter for Nantes and he racked up 42 league goals in three and a half seasons for the club. This term brought 12 from 19 games in Ligue 1, persuading  Cardiff that Sala was the man to fire them away from the Premier League relegation zone.

Tragically, he was never able to put such undoubted talent on display for a club and a competition that now mourns him along with the rest of the global game.

Dorset Police has confirmed the body recovered from a plane wreckage in the English Channel is that of Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala.

The UK's Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) confirmed on Wednesday that a victim had been passed to the Dorset Coroner, having been recovered with the help of specialist contractors.

The Piper Malibu aircraft disappeared with Sala and pilot David Ibbotson on board on January 21, with the 28-year-old en route to Cardiff having completed a club-record transfer from Ligue 1 side Nantes.

A police statement issued late on Thursday read: "The body brought to Portland Port today, Thursday 7 February 2019, has been formally identified by HM Coroner for Dorset as that of professional footballer Emiliano Sala.

"The families of Mr Sala and the pilot David Ibbotson have been updated with this news and will continue to be supported by specially-trained family liaison officers. Our thoughts remain with them at this difficult time.

"HM Coroner will continue to investigate the circumstances of this death supported by Dorset Police."

An initial search and rescue effort was called off by Guernsey Police after three days on January 24.

Guernsey harbourmaster Captain David Barker called their chances of survival "extremely remote", but a number of high-profile football figures and members of the public answered the family's calls to fund a private search operation.

The plane was located on the seabed off Guernsey on Sunday using a remotely operated vehicle, during which time a body was found amid what remained of the light aircraft.

A recovery operation was then launched following consultation with the families of Sala and Ibbotson, and the police.

The football world came together in grief and to pay its respects as the severity of the Sala story began to unfold, with floral tributes laid outside Cardiff City Stadium and vigils held in Nantes, where 42 goals in three-and-a-half seasons made him a fan favourite.

Following reports of a dispute between the two clubs this week, Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman confirmed the Premier League outfit were yet to pay the first instalment of Sala's transfer fee.

"We must show respect to the family. There is a process for recovering the plane," he said, prior to Sala's body being identified.

"[We will pay] when we think it's the right time to do it. I don't think Cardiff said we were not going to pay."

Nantes has asked that Cardiff City pay the record transfer fee for would-be forward Emilio Sala, whose plane went missing on the way to his new club. Sala is presumed dead and the wreckage of the plane he travelled in was found with a body inside. Are they being insensitive given the sadness of the event?

A body has been successfully recovered from the wreckage of the plane that went down in the English Channel with Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala on board. 

The UK's Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) confirmed late on Wednesday that the victim, who has not been publicly identified, will now be passed to the Dorset Coroner, having been recovered with the help of specialist contractors. 

The Piper Malibu aircraft disappeared with Sala and pilot David Ibbotson on board on January 21. 

A private search was launched, backed by donations from the public, after authorities halted their initial efforts to find the plane and the wreckage was found under water on Sunday, 24 nautical miles north west of Guernsey. 

The AAIB said one of the occupants was visible amid the remains of the plane and have now confirmed that a recovery has been successful. 

However, it said attempts to retrieve the aircraft have been stopped due to bad weather.

"Following extensive visual examination of the accident site using the remotely operated vehicle (ROV), it was decided to attempt recovery operations," the AAIB said in a statement.

"In challenging conditions, the AAIB and its specialist contractors successfully recovered the body previously seen amidst the wreckage. The operation was carried out in as dignified a way as possible and the families were kept informed of progress.

"Unfortunately, attempts to recover the aircraft wreckage were unsuccessful before poor weather conditions forced us to return the ROV to the ship.  The weather forecast is poor for the foreseeable future and so the difficult decision was taken to bring the overall operation to a close.  The body is currently being taken to Portland to be passed into the care of the Dorset Coroner. 

"Although it was not possible to recover the aircraft, the extensive video record captured by the ROV is expected to provide valuable evidence for our safety investigation.

"We expect our next update to be an interim report, which we intend to publish within one month of the accident occurring."

Sala had been travelling to Cardiff after saying goodbye to his former team-mates at Nantes, having sealed a transfer to the Premier League in a club-record deal for the Bluebirds.

Nantes have reportedly demanded the first €6million instalment of the transfer fee, with Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman insisting they would send the payment "when we think it's the right time to do it".

"The first reason is that the body has not been recovered yet," he told L'Equipe about the lack of payment so far. "We must show respect to the family. There is a process for recovering the plane."

Cardiff City chairman Mehmet Dalman has confirmed the Bluebirds are yet to pay Nantes the first instalment for missing striker Emiliano Sala.

Earlier on Wednesday reports emerged that the Ligue 1 club were demanding six of the €15million from the Premier League club for the Argentine forward.

The plane carrying Sala – and pilot David Ibbotson - from Nantes to Cardiff went missing on January 21, with Guernsey Police undertaking a search for the Piper Malibu aircraft in the following days.

After that exploration was stopped, a privately-funded search for the aircraft was launched and the plane was found on Sunday, with the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) confirming one passenger is visible in the submerged wreckage.

The AAIB will attempt to recover the body and, out of respect for Sala's family, Dalman says Cardiff will allow that process to be completed before dealing with the payment to Nantes.

"The only thing I can say, because it is a sensitive subject, is that I confirm that what you are saying [that Cardiff haven't paid the first instalment] is true," he told L'Equipe.

"And to be honest, I do not want to say anything more at this time."

When asked why they are yet to pay, Dalman added: "The first reason is that the body has not been recovered yet.

"We must show respect to the family. There is a process for recovering the plane. It's too early for us to comment.

"[We will pay] when we think it's the right time to do it.

"I don't think Cardiff said we were not going to pay."

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) are attempting to recover the body found in the wreckage of the light aircraft that carried Emiliano Sala and David Ibbotson.

A search using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) located the plane on the seabed off Guernsey on Sunday.

"Tragically, in video footage from the ROV, one occupant is visible amidst the wreckage," a statement from AAIB read.

Following consultation with the families of Cardiff City striker Sala and pilot Ibbotson and police, it has been decided a recovery operation will be carried out.

A spokesperson for AAIB said: "We are attempting to recover the body. If we are successful, we will consider the feasibility of recovering the aircraft wreckage.

"Strong tidal conditions mean we can only use the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) for limited periods each day and this will mean that progress is slow.

"Regardless of the results, we will not be making a further statement until the families have been informed."

The Piper Malibu plane went missing over the English Channel on January 21, with Sala travelling to back to Cardiff after completing a club-record move from Ligue 1 club Nantes.

An initial search and rescue effort was called off by Guernsey Police after three days on January 24.

Guernsey harbourmaster Captain David Barker called their chances of survival "extremely remote", but a number of high-profile football figures and members of the public answered the family's calls to fund a private search operation.

 

One occupant is visible in the submerged wreckage of the plane that went missing with Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala on board, the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has confirmed. 

The wreckage of the plane carrying Emiliano Sala which disappeared has been found in the English Channel, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has confirmed.

David Mearns, who is co-ordinating the privately funded search for the aircraft which was carrying Sala and pilot David Ibbotson, stated the wreckage was discovered on Sunday morning and added their families have been informed.

The AAIB confirmed to Omnisport the debris had been located, with an official statement to follow on Monday as attempts to recover the aircraft begin.

"Wreckage of the plane carrying Emiliano Sala and piloted by David Ibbotson was located early this morning [Sunday] by the FPV MORVEN," Mearns wrote on Twitter.

"As agreed with the AAIB they moved the GEO OCEAN III over the position we provided them to visually identify the plane by ROV.

"The families of Emiliano Sala and David Ibbotson have been notified by Police. The AAIB will be making a statement tomorrow. Tonight our sole thoughts are with the families and friends of Emiliano and David."

An underwater search had begun earlier on Sunday, involving the AAIB and a privately funded vessel.

The previous significant update from the AAIB had come when seat cushions thought to be from the plane were found on a beach in northern France on Wednesday.

It is 10 days since Guernsey Police ceased looking for the Piper Malibu aircraft, which Sala was aboard with Ibbotson.

The plane went missing over the English Channel en route to Cardiff from Nantes on January 21.

Sala, 28, had just completed a transfer to Cardiff City and had been back in France bidding farewell to his former team-mates at Ligue 1 side Nantes.

Initial search and rescue efforts had spanned three days without finding any trace of the plane, before the authorities opted to call a halt to their scanning of the area.

The Guernsey harbourmaster Captain David Barker called their chances of survival "extremely remote", but a number of high-profile football figures and members of the public answered the family's calls to fund a private search operation that has been headed up by Mearns.

The wreckage of the plane carrying Emiliano Sala which disappeared has been found in the English Channel, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has confirmed.
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