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At last, body of missing footballer, Sala identified

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Authorities have identified the body inside the plane wreckage found in the English Channel as that of Argentinian footballer Emiliano Sala.


Sala’s plane, which carried him and the pilot, David Ibbotson, crashed more than two weeks ago during a trip from the French city of Nantes to the Welsh city of Cardiff.


The wreckage of the plane was discovered earlier this week by a privately funded recovery crew hired by Sala’s family after the official operation had been called off.


British police said that the body retrieved from the wreckage had been formally identified as Sala.


“The families of Sala and the pilot David Ibbotson have been updated with this news and will continue to be supported by specially-trained family liaison officers,” a police statement said.


“Our thoughts remain with them at this difficult time.”


Search teams are yet to find pilot David Ibbotson, the only other person on board the plane which lost contact with air traffic control near Guernsey on January 21.


David Mearns, whose team located Sala’s plane, posted a message on Twitter following the identification commemorating the football player.


Sala, 28, had recently signed a contract with the English Premier League club Cardiff City for a club record fee of about 17 million euros ($19m), after scoring 12 goals while playing for the French club Nantes. He had been flying from Nantes to join his new Premier League team when the single-engine Piper Malibu aircraft disappeared over the sea.

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