Foxes to play again at Cardiff a week after The Boss' death

Buddhist monks standing in tribute following prayers for Leicester's late owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four others who died when their helicopter crashed as it left the ground after last Saturday's match against West Ham.
Buddhist monks standing in tribute following prayers for Leicester's late owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four others who died when their helicopter crashed as it left the ground after last Saturday's match against West Ham.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Leicester have made the difficult decision to play their English Premier League clash at Cardiff on Saturday following the tragic death of owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.

The Thai billionaire was among five people killed when his helicopter crashed outside Leicester's King Power Stadium following last Saturday's game against West Ham.

With mourners flocking to the stadium and the crash site cordoned off as investigators picked through the wreckage, Leicester had already postponed Tuesday's home League Cup tie with Southampton.

Though many at the club remain in a state of shock and bewilderment, it was felt that an away game, a trip to south Wales, at the weekend probably represents the best opportunity to begin the process of a return to normality, even if emotions are still raw.

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

Cardiff chief executive Ken Choo was respectful of Leicester's wish to return to action seven days after the horrific accident.

"Following Saturday evening's terrible events at King Power Stadium, the thoughts and feelings of Leicester City are at the forefront of our minds," he said.

 
 
 
 

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

Vichai's heavy investment after buying Leicester in 2010 transformed the unglamorous club into shock Premier League champions as 5,000-1 outsiders in 2016.

Claudio Ranieri, whom Vichai brought in as Leicester coach in 2015 and coached the Foxes to that fairy-tale triumph the next year, joined the voices of condolence for the late chairman.

The Italian told Sky Sport Italia: "His positivity and ability to make everybody love him was clear for all to see. He came into the locker room only to dispense kind words, never to reproach you. Everything he touched became better."

Nigel Pearson, who managed the club in two spells from 2008 to 2010 and then from 2011 after the takeover, is credited with saving Leicester from relegation in 2014-15, winning seven of their last eight matches.

While he was sacked in June 2015 after disagreements with the board, he was full of praise for Vichai.

"The leadership and managerial processes he instilled and encouraged within Leicester 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," he said.

"I will miss The Boss."

Britain's Air Accidents Investigation Branch said it had recovered the flight data recorder and would continue to investigate the cause of the crash.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 01, 2018, with the headline 'Foxes to play again at Cardiff a week after The Boss' death'. Print Edition | Subscribe