Cardiff City FC striker Emiliano Sala is missing after a light aircraft he was traveling on went missing en route to Cardiff. Local police issued a statement saying there was “no trace” of the plane.
The plane disappeared Monday night over the Channel Islands as Sala was traveling to Cardiff after being part of a record transfer deal on Saturday. Sala previously played for Nantes in Ligue 1, and the 28-year-old was poised to make his Premier League debut.
Sala’s father spoke to reporters in Argentina about his son’s disappearance.
“I didn’t know anything. I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “I’m desperate. I hope everything goes well.”
Officials believe the chances of finding survivors in the event of a crash are dwindling due to rough sea conditions and low temperatures. It’s unclear at this time precisely what happened. There was no distress signal from the plane prior to vanishing from radar shortly after 8:30 p.m. local time Monday night.
Captain David Barker, Guernsey harbormaster said they’re not making any official determination on what happened to the single turbine Piper Malibu plane.
“It is possible that the aircraft has diverted somewhere else but we are continuing a search if in the unfortunate event it has actually ditched into the sea.”
Search efforts from U.K. and French vessels have no found anything of significance at this time. Cardiff City FC fans are placing flowers outside the team’s stadium, hoping for good news regarding Sala’s whereabouts.
Cardiff City FC cancelled practice on Tuesday and issued the following statement.
“We were very shocked upon hearing the news that the plane had gone missing. We expected Emiliano to arrive last night into Cardiff and today was due to be his first day with the team.
Our owner, Tan Sri Vincent Tan, and chairman, Mehmet Dalman, are all very distressed about the situation.
We made the decision first thing this morning to call off training with the thoughts of the squad, management staff and the entire Club with Emiliano and the pilot.
All of us at Cardiff City FC would like to thank our fans, and the entire footballing family for their support at this difficult time.
We continue to pray for positive news.”
On Thursday morning Guernsey Police issued an update.
3.15pm Update.— Guernsey Police (@GuernseyPolice) January 24, 2019
Please read the attached statement.
Unless there is a significant development, there will be no further updates pic.twitter.com/jbEIFMB3zi