Police Body found in plane confirmed as footballer Emiliano Sala

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Emiliano Sala: body recovered from plane identified as missing footballer

The body recovered from a plane that crashed in the Channel has been formally identified as the professional footballer Emiliano Sala, police have said.

The families of Sala and Ibbotson have been informed about the latest developments and the investigation into the circumstances of the death continues, police said yesterday.

The wreckage of the plane was discovered with an unidentified body inside on Sunday in a private search funded by Sala's friends, family and fellow players.

Sala was on board a light aircraft being flown by pilot David Ibbotson from the French city of Nantes to the Welsh capital of Cardiff on January 21 when the flight lost contact with air traffic controllers.

The 28-year-old Argentine soccer star was en route to Cardiff where he had recently signed a $19.3-million contract to play for Cardiff City FC.

Sala's disappearance prompted an outpouring of grief across the footballing world, including at his former club Nantes in France where the plane was flying from.

In this image released Monday Feb. 4, 2019, by the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) showing the rear left side of the fuselage including part of the aircraft registration N264DB that went missing carrying soccer player Emiliano Sala, when it disappeared from radar contact on January 21 2019.

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"We offer our most heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the family of Emiliano", Cardiff City said in a statement on Thursday.

The investigation to find the plane was initially called off after three days, but Sala's family raised the funds to keep the search alive, with thanks to donations from worldwide football community.

Efforts to recover the aircraft wreckage have so far been unsuccessful due to poor weather conditions.

Nantes have consulted lawyers to explore legal options to ensure Cardiff pay the transfer fee for Sala, a source close to the French club revealed on Wednesday.

The AAIB has said it expects to publish an interim report within the month.

Sala quickly became a regular starter for Nantes and he racked up 42 league goals in three and a half seasons for the club.

The Argentine player has been honoured with tributes at matches in both the Premier League and Ligue 1 in France.

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