The English premier league football club Leicester City have been left “numb and in shock” by the tragic death of owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, manager Claude Puel has revealed.
In his first public comments since Srivaddhanaprabha was among five people killed when his helicopter crashed after last weekend’s draw with West Ham, Puel called this “one of the hardest weeks” in the English Premier League club’s history.
“The tragic loss of five lives has left us numb and in shock and our thoughts are with Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha’s family and with the all of the families who have lost a loved one,” he told a news conference ahead of Saturday’s EPL game at Cardiff City.
“Vichai made Leicester City a family and made a dream. He invested in the club, the city and the people, he truly was loved by everyone inside and outside the club.
“He leaves a legacy and his vision for the club we take forward. I have never been prouder to be a manager of this club.”
Puel acknowledged his team will be playing more for their owner than the result at Cardiff.
“Football has not been on our minds this last week but this weekend and all matches after we will play to honour a man who did so much for our club,” Puel said.
“The result is the second thing. We will be ready but I hope we can find a good balance between conviction and emotion in this game, because if we remain just on the emotion it will be difficult.”
Leicester players may attend Srivaddhanaprabha’s funeral, which begins on Saturday in Thailand and could go on for several days, the manager added.
“I want to give players the opportunity to go if they want to but I don’t know about the logistics,” Puel said.
“But the players want to go and support Vichai’s family.”
Meanwhile the club’s rescheduled fourth round League Cup match against Southampton will take place on November 27th at the King Power Stadium.
The tie, originally scheduled for October 30th was postponed following the helicopter crash.