Football fans banned from matches for mocking Emiliano Sala’s death
Nov. 06, 2019
Football fans who mocked the death of Emiliano Sala have been branded ‘disgusting’ and banned from attending matches for three years.
Four Southampton fans were handed banning orders for making ‘disrespectful’ gestures at Cardiff City fans, after the two sides met just days after the death of the Argentine striker.
Sala was being flown from France to the UK to join Cardiff City, when his plane plunged into the English Channel, killing both him and the pilot.
During the game at Southampton’s St Mary’s stadium, a number of home fans were seen to be taunting the opposition supporters by sticking their arms out and mimicking the actions of a plane in trouble.
One even shouted about ‘flying home’, as he was ejected from the ground, a court heard.
Simon Jones, prosecuting, told magistrates in Southampton that the defendants’ actions were ‘disgusting’.
He said they indulged in mocking, abusive and disrespectful behaviour ‘which was directed at the people who would be the most offended’.
Saints fans Jake Carman, 49, of Deacon Road, Southampton, Mark Ferrett, 53, of Romsey Road, Lockerley, Adam Holbrook, 25, of Radcliffe Road, Southampton and William Kinley, 23 of Westbrook Way, Southampton, all admitted threatening behaviour.
Mr Jones said the actions of Kinley in particular enraged the Cardiff supporters, who were wearing yellow daffodils as a mark of respect following Sala’s death.
As Kinley was being taken out of the stadium, he was heard shouting ‘flying home’, the court heard.
Janet Brownlow, representing Kinley, said he ‘struggled with life’ and suffered from anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder.
She added: ‘This is a young man who has made a mistake. It was a very bad mistake, but it was a small mistake.’
The plane carrying Emiliano Sala, Cardiff City’s £15m record signing, lost contact with radar near Guernsey.
Sala signed for Cardiff on January 19, only two days before the crash after returning to Nantes to say goodbye to his former teammates.
His body was recovered from the wreckage of the Piper Malibu N264DB on February 7 and repatriated to Argentina.