Football Fan Hit With Banning Order for Emiliano Sala 'Aeroplane' Gestures

The fan's gesture referenced the death of Emiliano Sala
The fan's gesture referenced the death of Emiliano Sala | Cardiff City FC/Getty Images

A Reading fan who made 'aeroplane gestures' that referred to the death of Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala has been banned for three years.

Sala, who had just signed for the Welsh club from FC Nantes, died when a plane taking him to England from France crashed into the English Channel, killing both him and pilot David Ibbotson.

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Cardiff fans mourned the lose of Sala | GEOFF CADDICK/Getty Images

The BBC report that Stuart Webb, 37, who is from Torquay, was initially ejected from a game between Reading and Cardiff earlier this year. He admitted the offences and received a football banning order from North and East Devon Magistrates' Court.

His ban prevents him from attending Reading matches until 2023, and Webb cannot be within two miles of the Madejski Stadium on match days, nor can he travel to Reading city centre three hours before or six hours following a match.

Following the verdict, PC Christian Evans of the South Wales Police said: "The overwhelming majority of football fans are well-behaved and respectful to one another. Webb's inflammatory gesture caused a great deal of distress to many people still grieving the death of Emiliano Sala.

"Hopefully this court result sends a clear message that similar behaviour will not be tolerated at matches."

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The striker was a fan favourite in Nantes | JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/Getty Images

Born in Argentina, Sala began his playing career in Spain before moving to France, where he would play the majority of his football. He spent four successful years at Nantes where, aside from having a good goalscoring record, he quickly became a favourite amongst fans.