Leicester to play Cardiff on Saturday in wake of tragic helicopter crash

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Leicester’s Premier League fixture at Cardiff will go ahead as planned on Saturday.

It is thought the players have chosen to play the game, which will come just one week after the helicopter crash which killed five people, including Leicester owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.

Both Cardiff and the Premier League were prepared to postpone the match in light of the tragedy, which has seen an outpouring of emotion from players, supporters and the wider community both in Leicester and nationwide.

Leicester’s Carabao Cup tie against Southampton, due to be held on Tuesday, was postponed on Sunday, with a new date yet to be arranged.

A statement issued by the club on Tuesday evening said: “Leicester City’s Premier League fixture at Cardiff City this Saturday (3 November) will go ahead as scheduled, as the club continues its tributes to its late chairman, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.

“A minute’s silence will be observed before kick-off at the Cardiff City Stadium and players will wear black armbands in Khun Vichai’s honour.

“An announcement on the rearrangement of the club’s EFL Cup Fourth Round tie against Southampton, postponed earlier this week, will be made in due course.”

Leicester have followed the example of its sister club OH Leuven, who have postponed their midweek fixture – but the Belgian club will play at the weekend.

Cardiff executive director and chief executive Ken Choo was respectful of Leicester’s wishes and offered his sympathies.

“Following Saturday evening’s terrible events at King Power Stadium, the thoughts and feelings of Leicester City FC are at the forefront of our minds,” Choo said in a statement on the club’s website.

“As such, we will be offering our support to Leicester City in any way necessary in respect of this weekend’s fixture.”

Leicester helicopter crash
A woman looks at tributes at the King Power Stadium (Mike Egerton/PA)

Pearson, who won the Championship title with Leicester under Srivaddhanaprabha, before performing a successful rescue mission in their first season back in the Premier League, paid tribute to someone he says had “an immeasurable influence on English football.”

“It is with extreme difficulty that I write to express and offer my sincere condolences and support to the Srivaddhanaprabha and wider King Power family,” Pearson said in a statement on Leuven’s website.

“His quiet yet authoritative aura, presence and personality have had an immeasurable influence on English football.

“The leadership and managerial processes he instilled and encouraged within Leicester City over a sustained period of time has borne fruit in such a way that people throughout the world witnessed the impossible by seeing a club win the Premier League in the most incredible circumstances.

“This most definitely ensured the belief that sporting miracles can happen. I have been privileged to manage both clubs owned by King Power, and at Oud-Heverlee Leuven in Belgium, have the task of building a club which can emulate King Power’s success in England.”

Earlier in the day, Leicester opened a book of condolence in memory of Srivaddhanaprabha on Tuesday morning at 8am where fans and people from the wider community in Leicester can come and write their messages in the book of condolence inside a specially-erected marquee.

Leicester helicopter crash
Mourners sign a book of condolence for Leicester chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha (Mike Egerton/PA)

Leicester’s City Hall and County Hall will also light up in blue this week to honour Srivaddhanaprabha, as well as Nusara Suknamai, Kaveporn Punpare, Izabela Roza Lechowicz and pilot Eric Swaffer who also died in the crash.

Throughout the day on Tuesday there was a steady stream of supporters arriving since the early hours as fans continue to lay their tributes, including flowers, scarves and shirts to the ever-growing shrine which now extends down the side of the entire North Stand.

Injured midfielder Daniel Amartey – who suffered a suspected broken ankle in the draw with West Ham which preceded the crash – missed the
squad visit on Monday but attended alongside a club liaison officer on Tuesday to pay his respects, while Jamie Vardy returned on Tuesday to lay a wreath with his wife Rebekah.

Meanwhile, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) continue to conduct its investigations as it tries to establish what caused Saturday’s tragedy.

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