Emiliano Sala: Three Southampton fans fined for plane gestures
Three football fans who made aeroplane taunts after the death of Emiliano Sala have been fined.
The trio made the "abusive gestures" shortly after a minute's silence in memory of the player at Southampton's match against Cardiff in February.
It was the first time the Welsh side had played since the Argentine striker's death in a plane crash on 21 January.
One of the men was also given a four-year football banning order.
Emiliano Sala had been flying from Nantes, in France, to join Cardiff City when the light aircraft he was in crashed into the sea.
On 9 February, Southampton Magistrates' Court heard, fans at St Mary's stadium joined clubs across the country in observing a pre-match silence.
'Forward diving motion'
About 25 minutes into the game, prosecutors said, there was a "change in the atmosphere" when Cardiff fans saw home supporters making gestures.
Fans of both teams contacted police, and the three men were eventually charged.
One 47-year-old James Downey, admitted making a "forward diving motion" mimicking a plane.
Jake Carman, 49, told police he was "just being stupid", while Mark Ferrett, 53, said he had "let myself down and the club down".
Each man admitted using threatening, abusive words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.
- Downey, of Southlands Way, Shoreham-by-sea, was fined £520
- Carman, of Deacon Road, Southampton, was fined £635
- Ferrett of Romsey Road, Lockerley, was fined £427
Carman and Ferrett are contesting football banning orders, which would prevent them attending further matches.
Hampshire Constabulary's football officer Andrew Darbyshire said the minute's silence before the game was "impeccably observed" but the three men were a "small minority whose behaviour goes over the line".