Tributes outside Cardiff City stadium for Emiliano Sala on Wednesday
Tributes outside Cardiff City stadium for Emiliano Sala on Wednesday

Authorities end search for missing Argentine footballer

ANI | Updated: Jan 25, 2019 06:28 IST

London [UK], Jan 25 (ANI): Authorities have called off the search for Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala on Thursday, after the plane he was travelling in dropped off the radar over the English Channel on Monday night.
Sala's former club, FC Nantes, however, urged Guernsey Police to continue their search and tweeted, "FC Nantes has learnt that the search for the missing plane was called off. This search must not stop, @GuernseyPolice The club and its supporters strongly ask for the search to find @EmilianoSala1 to go on, for his family and his near relatives. Together for Emi! #PrayForSala," on Thursday.
Guernsey Harbour Master Captain David Barker has outlined that chances of both the pilot and Sala's survival at this stage are extremely "remote".
Air and search assets from the Channel Islands, UK and France took part in the search mission and covered an area of approximately 1,700 square miles, with a significant amount of this searched more than once.
"There has been over 24 hours of continuous searching, with 80 hours combined flying time across three planes and five helicopters. Two lifeboats have also been involved, as well as assistance from various passing ships and fishing boats. We reviewed all the information available to us, as well as knowing what emergency equipment was on board, and have taken the difficult decision to end the search," Barker said in a statement.
He further informed that Sala's family had been informed about the cessation of search, adding that the search had been "very thorough and extensive".
"Although we are no longer actively searching, the incident remains open and we will be broadcasting to all vessels and aircraft in the area to keep a lookout for any trace of the aircraft. This will continue indefinitely," he lastly highlighted in the official statement issued by Guernsey Police on Twitter.
There is no trace of the aircraft, the pilot or the passenger until now, ever since the plane disappeared on Monday.
Sala had just signed a record USD 19 million deal with Cardiff City and was supposed to join the training. He had gone to Nantes, to bid farewell to his former teammates, and was on his way to Cardiff when the incident occurred.
"At this time of immeasurable sadness, our thoughts are with the family and friends of both men on board, the fans of both FC Nantes, Cardiff City, and their connections around the world," Cardiff City tweeted on Thursday.
“We were looking forward to providing Emiliano with the next step in his life and career. Those who met Emiliano described a good-natured and humble young man who was eager to impress in the Premier League," the football club further said in a statement.
Devastated fans have been paying their tribute to the promising footballer, with many lining outside the Cardiff City stadium. (ANI)