Cardiff City Releases Statement On Emiliano Sala

Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala is 'missing presumed dead' according to reports from AFP.

Though there has been no official confirmation, earlier reports from the Associated Press also claimed that the chief officer of the Channel Islands Air Search, John Fitzgerald, does not expect any survivors to be found following the disappearance of the small aircraft.

The Argentine Sala had signed for the Bluebirds for £15 million on Saturday. He was travelling from Nantes - where his previous club is based - to meet up with his new teammates in Wales.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

However, the small plane that he was travelling on disappeared from radar visibility near to the Channel Islands at about 8.30pm last night.

Rescue teams have been out searching since then but were hampered by difficult conditions and poor visibility last night.

According to AP, John Fitzgerald said that he is "not expecting anyone to be alive," adding: "I don't think the coastguard are either. We just don't know how it disappeared.

He went on to say that the plane "just completely vanished. There was no radio conversation."

However, he also told Wales Online that the search will continue as long as the weather holds.

In an earlier interview he said: "We have been up since early this morning and just had a crew change at lunchtime, but there has been nothing in terms of finding casualties.

"As time goes on, the chances of finding survivors gets more and more unlikely. The water temperature is extremely cold at this time of year. The area is very tidal and moves very quickly but the search conditions are quite good as it is overcast, which helps because there is no glare off the water."

Cardiff City have issued a statement that reads: "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."

Fans have been gathering in Cardiff and Nantes to pay tribute to the 28-year-old forward. FC Nantes president Waldemar Kita told French TV channel C News: "He's a polite, nice, adorable boy, adored by everyone. He was always very respectable, very courteous.

"I think of his family and all of his friends. The rest we do not know yet."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

He added: "I am always in hope that this is not over and that he is somewhere. Sincerely, he is an adorable boy."

Cardiff City also said earlier today that they are "very concerned for the safety of Emiliano Sala."

Their chairman, Mehmet Dalman, confirmed: "We are awaiting confirmation before we can say anything further."

Nantes have also cancelled their French Cup game against Entente SSG, scheduled to be played tomorrow.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Tom Wood

Tom Wood is a freelance journalist and LADbible contributor. He graduated from University of London with a BA in Philosophy before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. He has previously written for the M.E.N Group as well as working for several top professional sports clubs. Contact him on [email protected]

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