Sport Soccer

Saturday 23 February 2019

Police resume search for Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala as chairman warns 'it doesn't look good'

Emiliano Sala
Emiliano Sala

PA Sport

Guernsey Police have resumed the search for the missing plane which was carrying new Cardiff striker Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson.

The search was suspended on Wednesday night, with Guernsey Police saying a decision whether to recommence would be taken on Thursday morning.

In an update released at 7.50am on Thursday, Guernsey Police confirmed the search had begun once again.

"We are commencing a coastal search using the Channel Islands Air Search plane off Burhou, the Casquets, Alderney, the north coast of the Cherbourg Peninsula, north coast of Jersey and then back over Sark," the update read.

"Further information released when available."

Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman admitted on Wednesday night that "it doesn't look good" for Sala, who was aboard an aeroplane which disappeared from radar en route from Nantes to Cardiff on Monday evening.

Guernsey Police have so far found "no trace" of the light aircraft.

Dalman, who described Sala's disappearance as a "tragic accident", said the Piper PA-46 Malibu plane was not organised by the club.

He also said the sister of the £15million Argentinian striker was on her way to south Wales.

"We continue to collect data to try to understand what happened from this end. Everything points towards a tragic accident, it really does," Dalman told Sky Sports News HQ.

"We will continue to hope and pray. But we also have to be realistic, it doesn't look good at this very moment."

Football agent Mark McKay said he was involved in the travel arrangements for Sala, telling Sky Sports News: "I can confirm that when Emiliano made myself and his agent Meissa N'Diaye aware that he wished to travel back to Nantes following his medical and signing on Friday, I began to look into arranging a private flight to take him to Nantes on Saturday morning.

"That evening, it was confirmed a plane was available to fly Emiliano on Saturday which could remain in Nantes until he was due to return to Cardiff.

"I have been in contact with officials from Cardiff and the player's agent over these difficult past few days and will continue to do so."

Humberside Police confirmed on Wednesday evening that Ibbotson, from Crowle, near Scunthorpe, was the pilot.

A WhatsApp voice message from Sala said he was "getting scared" and boarding a plane "that seems like it is falling to pieces" according to Argentinian outlet Ole.

Ole.com.ar.

The rescue operation has targeted an area of 280 square miles around Alderney using multiple aircraft from the Channel Islands, France and the United Kingdom.

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