THE LAST GOODBYE Poignant final photo as rescuers lose hope for Cardiff City star Emiliano
IS HE ALIVE? Sala’s plane went missing near Casquets lighthouse HOPES were last night fading for Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala, who was on a light aircraft that disappeared from radar in the English Channel.
Air Traffic Control said the aircraft was travelling from Nantes in western France to Cardiff when it went missing near the Casquets lighthouse, eight miles north-west of the Channel island of Alderney.
An official involved in the search has cast doubt on whether either of the two passengers on the aircraft could have survived a crash.
“After all this time the weather’s quite cold, the water is very cold out there... I am not expecting anyone to be alive,” Channel Islands Air Search chief officer John Fitzgerald said.
“I don’t think the coastguard are either. We just don’t know how it disappeared.”
He said the plane “just completely vanished. There was no radio conversation”.
Concerns were raised when Sala, 28, failed to respond to messages on social media after reports he had been travelling to the UK on Monday, and the French Navy are helping TEAM HUG: How Sala said ‘Ciao’ to Nantes teammates BIG DEAL: Sala with Cardiff CEO Ken Choo, a plane like the missing one and a French Navy warship with the search.
The Argentinian forward, who had played in France since 2012, was bought by Cardiff from Nantes for £18million on a three-and-a-half year deal at the weekend.
In one of his last social media posts, he shared a photo with his former teammates, writing “Ciao” and adding heart emojis.
One of his former teammates had taken him to the airport for his flight to the UK.
Cardiff City CEO Ken Choo said: “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.
“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.”