Police have confirmed that the body found in an aeroplane in the English Channel earlier this week was that of Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala, after the light aircraft carrying him disappeared nearly two weeks ago.
The plane, which was taking the 28-year-old striker to Cardiff from Nantes, lost contact with air traffic control at around 8pm on Monday, failing to arrive in South Wales shortly before 9pm as scheduled.
Dorset Police confirmed on Twitter on Thursday night that a coroner has officially identified the body as the former Nantes striker.
L’Equipe report that the footballer’s remains will be handed over to his family within hours to allow them to arrange a burial as soon as possible.
Dorset Police said: “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.
#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
“HM Coroner will continue to investigate the circumstances of this death supported by Dorset Police.
“Sadly a search and rescue operation was unsuccessful in locating the plane and the two occupants. Subsequently AAIB and privately funded search teams were deployed to the relevant area. Using specialist equipment the teams succeeded in locating and identifying the plane and recovering Mr Sala’s body. On Monday 21 January 2019 a plane carrying both men was flying from Nantes to Cardiff when it lost contact with Air Traffic Control, north of Guernsey.”