Body from plane wreckage identified as soccer player Sala: UK police

A poster of Argentinian footballer Emiliano Sala reading

Messages of sadness, support and condolences have poured in on social media since as the footballing world mourns the tragic passing of the late Cardiff City forward.

Everyone had hope for a miracle in the sad story around Emiliano Sala plane's crash, but the dead body found in the plane wreckage has now been identified as the missing footballer.

The Piper Malibu N264DB was en route from France to Cardiff after the Argentine striker made a quick trip back to his former club Nantes two days after his £15m transfer to Cardiff was announced.

"HM Coroner will continue to investigate the circumstances of this death supported by Dorset Police. He and David will forever remain in our thoughts", the Welsh club said.

The Air accident investigators say one body is visible in the sea in the wreckage of the plane that went missing carrying soccer player Emiliano Sala and his pilot David Ibbotson.

Police confirmed the identification of the body last night.

"In challenging conditions, the AAIB and its specialist contractors successfully recovered the body previously seen amidst the wreckage".

"This morning (Thursday) ... the body was brought to Portland Port, Dorset, as this is the nearest part of the British mainland to where the plane was located", said the police statement.

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Wreckage was found on Sunday following a privately-funded underwater search and a body recovered on Wednesday and taken to southern England.

An AAIB spokesman said bad weather was forecast "for the foreseeable future and so the hard decision was taken to bring the overall operation to a close".

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

It seems wrong that thoughts have started turning to the £15 million that Cardiff had agreed to pay Nantes for the striker.

Cardiff City are facing disciplinary action from Federation Internationale de Football Association and a possible transfer ban if they fail to pay Nantes the first instalment of the £15 million fee agreed for Emiliano Sala within ten days.

Nantes sent an invoice for 5,7 million pounds ($10.3m), the Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman confirmed, and have apparently threatened legal action.

David Ibbotson, 59, was also aboard the plane.

Sala was Cardiff's record signing but never played for the club.

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