Leicester City owner’s funeral in Thailand under way

UK News
A picture of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, late chairman of Leicester City Football Club is placed next to his urnImage copyright Reuters
Image caption Flowers and a photograph of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha were placed next to his urn at the temple in Bangkok

The funeral of Leicester City’s owner who died in a helicopter crash outside the club’s stadium is under way.

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha’s funeral began with Buddhist bathing rituals at a temple in Bangkok, Thailand, and will be followed by recitation ceremonies.

Leicester City players are due to fly out to Thailand for the funeral later after their game against Cardiff.

Players came out of the tunnel for their warm-up wearing T-shirts featuring a picture of Mr Vichai.

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Media captionEmotional Leicester team observe silence at Cardiff

They stood for a minute’s silence along with Leicester City staff and fans ahead of their first match since the crash.

Mr Vichai died with two members of his staff, the pilot and a passenger when the helicopter crashed moments after taking off from the King Power Stadium on 27 October.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Aimon Srivaddhanaprabha (L), the wife of Mr Vichai, during his funeral rite
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mourners could be seen through a glass door at Mr Vichai’s funeral

A bathing rite ceremony has started and it will be followed by the beginning of recitation ceremonies over seven days.

Jonathan Head, the BBC’s South East Asia correspondent, is at the temple and said the ceremony was being held behind closed doors. He said elements of status at the funeral were very important.

“You will see during the funeral artefacts given by King Vajiralongkorn – a special funeral urn and also a five-tiered umbrella that is very high status – being used,” he said.

He added: “People will watch the funeral in many ways to see how well thought of Vichai was.

“He was a successful businessman, but sometimes controversial.”

Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha bought Leicester City in 2010

Mr Vichai’s body arrived in Thailand on Friday ahead of the funeral.

Nusara Suknamai, Kaveporn Punpare, pilot Eric Swaffer and his partner, Izabela Roza Lechowicz, also died in the crash last Saturday.

The wreckage of the helicopter was removed from outside the stadium on Friday.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has begun examining parts of the helicopter and the in-flight recorder.

Image copyright King Power
Image caption Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan poured royal water on flowers by Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha’s urn
Image copyright King Power
Image caption Royal officials arrive with offerings for the funeral ceremony of Leicester City’s Thai owner

Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, the manager of Thailand’s women’s football team, and the president of the Football Association of Thailand are among the guests at the funeral.

All this weekend’s Premier League games will be preceded by a minute’s silence and players will wear black armbands.

When Leicester fans arrived at the King Power Stadium before making the journey to the game in Wales, they were given free breakfast by the club.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Foxes fans were given free breakfast at the King Power Stadium

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leicestershire-46082866

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