Cardiff City Football Club’s new star Emiliano Sala was on board a light aircraft that disappeared en route to the Welsh capital where he was to join up with the team.
France’s civil aviation authority made this disclosure on Tuesday.
Argentine Sala was flying from the French city of Nantes to Cardiff when the plane lost radar contact off the English Channel island Guernsey late on Monday.
Rescue aircraft and boats scoured more than 1,000 square miles of sea for the single-engine Piper Malibu on Tuesday.
Guernsey police said a number of floating objects had been seen in the water but they were unable to confirm whether any were from the missing aircraft.
As night fell, search operations were suspended.
Police said they would resume at sunrise on Wednesday.
The 28-year-old forward joined English Premier League strugglers Cardiff City from FC Nantes last week for a club record fee of about 17 million euros (£15 million).
He had played in France since 2012.
“We expected Emiliano to arrive last night into Cardiff and today (Tuesday) was due to be his first day with the team,” club CEO Ken Choo said in a statement.
“We continue to pray for positive news.”
The club’s Tuesday’s training session was called off.
“The management and the whole club are staying hopeful and the whole FC Nantes family is praying for Emiliano Sala and the other passengers to be found safe and sound,” Nantes said in a statement.
British authorities contacted airfields along the coast to check if the plane had made an unplanned landing, but there was no sign it had, Guernsey police said.
The plane had been cruising at 5,000 feet when the pilot requested to descend to a lower altitude on passing Guernsey.
It lost radar contact at 2,300 feet, the police said.
John Fitzgerald, chief executive of Channel Islands Air Search, said: “If they are wearing the right dry suits or they got into a life raft, then the probability is not too bad.
“If they are in the water without any protection, the water is really too cold at the moment for any form of survival beyond an hour or so,” Fitzgerald told Sky TV.
Sala’s father Horacio told Argentine TV channel C5N: “I didn’t know anything because I’m away from home, I’m a truck driver. A friend who saw it on TV told me. I’m in despair.”
Julio Muller, the mayor of Progreso, the small town in the farming province of Santa Fe where Sala grew up, told Clarin online: “The town is in shock. The only thing we were talking about was his transfer.”
Daniel Rivero, the president of Sala’s first club, San Martin de Progreso, told radio LT9 he was “hoping for some kind of a miracle.”
Sala scored 12 goals for Nantes this season.
France’s football federation has postponed Nantes’s French Cup last-32 game against Entente Sannois-Saint Gratien that was scheduled for Wednesday.
Sala on Monday tweeted a photo of himself bidding farewell to his Nantes team mates, saying. “The last one. Ciao @FCNantes.”
Maradona plans to remain as head coach of Dorados
Argentine football great Diego Maradona on Friday appeared to backtrack on plans to quit as head coach of Mexican second division side Dorados at the end of the season, Xinhua news agency reported.
Maradona said earlier this month that he was considering leaving because of alleged bias from referees towards opposition teams.
However, the 58-year-old changed his tone after Dorados’ 1-0 home victory over Cimarrones de Sonora in their Ascenso MX quarterfinal first leg.
“I have to talk to (team owner) Jorge Alberto Hank, because I have ideas for the next tournament for Dorados. I feel an attachment with the club and I’ll defend my players to the death,” he told reporters.
The result extended Dorados’ unbeaten run to 10 matches.
The 1986 World Cup winner took charge of Dorados in September, guiding them to last season’s playoffs following six wins in seven matches.
Michael Jordan praises Tiger Woods, says his Masters victory is greatest comeback
Michael Jordan says Tiger Woods’ Masters victory last weekend is the greatest comeback of all-time.
“He had to change his game; he had to change his perspective a little bit,” M.J. told The Athletic … “To me, it was the greatest comeback I’ve ever seen.”
“I never thought he’d get back physically.He didn’t think he’d get back physically. But he did it. No one expected him to be back the way he is now.”
M.J. added, “He’s probably the only person who believed he could get back. To me, that’s a major accomplishment. To me, it’s unbelievable.”
Legendary Sports Broadcaster, Chet Coppock dies from injuries sustained during ghastly auto crash
Chicago sports broadcasting icon, Chet Coppock has died April 6 car after the accident in South Carolina.
Known as ‘The Godfather of Sports, Coppock was seated in the passenger seat during the crash, according to Chicago’s ABC affiliate.
The driver, a woman only identified as a 50-year-old from Hammond, Indiana crossed over the media and struck another vehicle head on before colliding with a third vehicle.
The driver’s condition has not been publicized.
Following the crash, which took place near the South Carolina-Georgia border, Coppock was transported to Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, where he ultimately died on Wednesday.
According to his former wife Anna Marie Busalacchi, Coppock’s family was by his side.
Investigators are continuing to examine the circumstances surrounding the crash.
Coppock’s daughter Lyndsey announced her father’s death on Facebook.
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