Body recovered from plane wreckage identified as Emiliano Sala
The body of Emiliano Sala has been formally identified after it was brought to Portland Port on Thursday, Dorset police said in a statement.
Sala, 28, had been en route from Nantes in western France on January 21 to make his debut for Cardiff City when the plane he was travelling on disappeared. The single-engined Piper Malibu aircraft had crashed into the sea.
The wreckage was found on Sunday following a privately-funded underwater search, and Dorset Police have confirmed that the body recovered from the wreckage was that of Sala.
“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,” read a statement on Dorset Police’s website.
#Update The body brought to Portland Port today has been formally identified by HM Coroner for Dorset as that of professional footballer Emiliano Sala.
The families of Mr Sala and pilot David Ibbotson have been updated. Our thoughts remain with them all
— Dorset Police (@dorsetpolice) February 7, 2019
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. Our thoughts remain with them at this difficult time.
“HM Coroner will continue to investigate the circumstances of this death supported by Dorset Police.”
Sala had agreed to join Welsh club Cardiff for a club-record fee of £15m from French club Nantes.
On Saturday at Cardiff’s home Premier League match against Bournemouth, the Cardiff players held up a T-shirt bearing the image of Sala, who never played a game for the club, after the team scored in the fifth minute.
Fans were handed daffodils as they entered the Cardiff City Stadium. In the 28th minute, a round of applause swelled around the stadium as fans sang Sala’s name.
On January 30, Nantes paid tribute to their former player. Referee Frank Schneider stopped play in the Ligue 1 match against St Etienne for a minute of applause during which Nantes coach Vahid Halilhodzic was in tears.