Leicester returning to pitch Saturday vs. Cardiff after death of owner

Leicester's Premier League fixture against Cardiff is going ahead as planned on Saturday, the team's first game since the death of its owner and four other people in a helicopter crash.

Leicester's players have been visibly affected by the tragedy and have spent Monday and Tuesday attending commemorative events to pay tribute to Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the club's popular Thai owner whose helicopter spiraled out of control as it left the King Power Stadium following a Premier League game on Saturday.

Leicester's English League Cup match against Southampton, scheduled for Tuesday, was cancelled, while games involving the club's women's team were also called off in wake of the crash.

Leicester said Tuesday there will be a minute's silence before kickoff against Cardiff, as there will be at matches throughout the Premier League this weekend. Players will wear black armbands as a mark of respect.

"We will be offering our support to Leicester City in any way necessary in respect of this weekend's fixture," Cardiff chief executive Ken Choo said.

Leicester opened a book of condolence inside a specially erected marquee in memory of Vichai on Tuesday, as more supporters and people from the wider community arrived at the stadium to pay their respects.

Leicester striker Jamie Vardy laid a wreath among an ever-growing shrine to Vichai that includes flowers, scarves and soccer jerseys.

Digital flight data recorder recovered

Investigators are expected to remain at the site until the end of the week, when the wreckage is to be taken to special facilities for examination, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch said.

"We recovered the digital flight data recorder [voice and data] on Sunday afternoon and one of our inspectors traveled back to Farnborough with the recorder the same evening," the AAIB said in a statement. "Today, our inspectors in Farnborough will start working on the recorder, which was subject to intense heat as a result of the post-accident fire."

Although only with Leicester for eight years, Vichai had a lasting impact on English soccer as the owner of the team that produced one of the greatest shocks in sports by winning the Premier League title at 5,000-1 odds in 2016.

Vichai's close bond with the community in Leicester was reflected in the tributes to the owner who bankrolled the team's return to the Premier League in 2014 and the improbable title triumph.

Two members of Vichai's staff, Nursara Suknamai and Kaveporn Punpare, also died along with pilot Eric Swaffer and co-pilot Izabela Roza Lechowicz. In a regular scene after matches that had become a symbol of Vichai's ownership, the helicopter took off from the centre circle on the field after Saturday's game against West Ham. It cleared the stadium roof before it plummeted into an adjacent parking lot in flames.

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CBC | Soccer News