Monday 14 October 2019

Man (64) arrested over star footballer's death

 

Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala
Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala

Emile Laurac

Police investigating the death of Argentine soccer player Emiliano Sala have arrested a man on suspicion of manslaughter.

A single-engine aircraft carrying Mr Sala and pilot David Ibbotson crashed in the English Channel on January 21. The body of Mr Sala, who had just signed for Cardiff City from French club Nantes and was travelling to join his new team in Wales, was recovered from the wreckage two weeks later.

Detectives in Dorset, where his body was brought in February, have been investigating the circumstances of the player's death and said a 64-year-old man was arrested "on suspicion of manslaughter by an unlawful act".

"He is assisting with our inquiries and has been released from custody under investigation," said Detective Inspector Simon Huxter. Police said the man was from North Yorkshire.

Family liaison officers have been updating the families of Mr Sala and Mr Ibbotson, the pilot of the plane that lost contact with air traffic control north of Guernsey. The body of Mr Ibbotson (59) has not been found.

Cardiff agreed a club-record fee of £15m (€16.9m) with Nantes to sign Mr Sala.

Mark McKay, one of the agents behind the transfer, said he helped to organise a "private flight" for Mr Sala to Wales from Nantes, where he had returned briefly after signing the deal in Cardiff.

Nantes and Cardiff are still in a dispute over the transfer fee.

Police in Wiltshire said this month that two people were facing charges over a photograph showing Mr Sala's body at a mortuary. They will appear in court next month.

Irish Independent

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