A body recovered from the submerged wreckage of a plane that went down in the English Channel more than two weeks ago has been identified as that of footballer Emiliano Sala, British police said on Thursday.
The light aircraft was carrying the 28-year-old footballer from France to his new Premier League team Cardiff City, when it disappeared near the British island of Guernsey, along with 59-year-old pilot David Ibbotson.
Cardiff City posted this on their website:
It is with great sadness that we report the following statement, issued on February 7th 2019 by the Dorset Police:
“The body brought to Portland Port today, Thursday 7 February 2019, has been formally identified by HM Coroner for Dorset as that of professional footballer Emiliano Sala. The families of Mr Sala and the pilot David Ibbotson have been updated with this news and will continue to be supported by specially-trained family liaison officers.”
We offer our most heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the family of Emiliano. He and David will forever remain in our thoughts.
Argentinian footballing idols Diego Maradona and Gabriel Batistuta were among the first to pay tribute to the talented young player, who hailed from the South American country.
“I am very sorry about this sad news. Many of us kept a glimmer of hope for you, Emiliano,” footballing superstar Maradona said on Instagram, after the identification of the body.
“What sadness, this is the worst news. Rest in peace warrior,” tweeted retired Argentinian football star Gabriel Batistuta.
Here’s a collection of tributes to Sala: