40 Notable Deaths Of 2019

 

From Nobel-winning novelist Toni Morrison to iconic fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld and Zimbabwe strongman Robert Mugabe, here are some of the notable deaths of 2019.

January

– 21: Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala, 28, was killed when the plane he was in crashed into the English Channel.

– 26: French film composer Michel Legrand, who won three Oscars and scored such classics as “Yentl” (1983), died aged 86.

February

– 7: Veteran British actor Albert Finney, winner of three Golden Globes, passed away aged 82.

– 16: Bruno Ganz, the Swiss actor best known for his role as Adolf Hitler in “Downfall” (2004), died aged 77 from cancer.

– 19: Haute couture legend Karl Lagerfeld, long-running artistic director of Chanel, died aged 85.

– 21: Stanley Donen, US director of such beloved Hollywood classic as “Singin’ in the Rain” (1952), was 94 when he died.

– 28: US-German composer and conductor Andre Previn, winner of 10 Grammys and four Oscars, died aged 89.

March

– 4: US actor Luke Perry died after a stroke at the age of 52.

– 4: Frontman of British rave band The Prodigy, Keith Flint, was found dead aged 49.

– 29: Pioneering female French film director Agnes Varda passed away aged 90.

April

– 17: Ex-Peruvian president Alan Garcia, 69, killed himself as the police were about to arrest him on bribery charges that he denied.

May

– 13: Hollywood legend Doris Day died aged 97.

– 16: Ieoh Ming Pei, Chinese-American architect of iconic modern structures such as the Louvre Pyramid in Paris, was 102 years old when he passed away.

– 20: Austria’s three-time Formula One world champion Niki Lauda died aged 70, eight months after a lung transplant.

– 22: British children’s author and illustrator Judith Kerr died aged 95.

June

– 1: Star Spanish football striker Jose Antonio Reyes, 35, was killed in a car crash.

– 15: Italian film-maker and opera director Franco Zeffirelli died aged 96.

– 17: Islamist Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, ousted in 2013 after one year of divise rule, died in prison aged 67.

– 17: American heiress and socialite Gloria Vanderbilt passed away aged 95.

July

– 6: Brazilian musician and songwriter Joao Gilberto, a pioneer of bossa nova, died aged 88.

– 16: South African singer Johnny Clegg died at 66 years old from cancer.

– 17: Andrea Camilleri, the Italian novelist who created Sicilian detective Montalbano, passed away aged 93.

– 22: Former Chinese prime minister Li Peng, a hardliner in the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, died at 90.

– 25: The world’s oldest president, Tunisian Beji Caid Essebsi, died aged 92, just ahead of the end of his first mandate.

August

– 5: Author Toni Morrison, the first African-American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, died aged 88.

– 10: US financier Jeffrey Epstein, 66, was found dead in jail from an apparent suicide while awaiting trial on charges of trafficking girls for sex.

– 12: Ivory Coast singer DJ Arafat died in a motorbike crash aged 33.

– 16: US actor Peter Fonda, best known for “Easy Rider” (1969), died from lung cancer aged 79.

September

– 3: German photographer Peter Lindbergh, credited with launching careers of supermodels like Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford, died aged 74.

– 6: Zimbabwe’s autocratic leader Robert Mugabe, ousted by the military in 2017 after 37 years in power, died aged 95.

– 9: Pioneering Swiss-born documentary photographer Robert Frank passed away at 94.

– 19: Tunisia’s Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the first leader to be toppled in the 2011 Arab Spring, died in exile in Saudi Arabia aged 83.

– 26: Jacques Chirac, French president from 1995 to 2007, died aged 86.

– 30: Celebrated American opera singer Jessye Norman died in hospital aged 74.

October

– 17: Alicia Alonso, Cuban ballet legend who taught well into her 90s, passed away at the age of 98.

– 17: US Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings died at 68 and was the first African-American lawmaker to lie in state in the Capitol building.

– 22: Belgian Paralympic champion Marieke Vervoort, suffering from a degenerative muscle disease, ended her life through euthanasia aged 40.

– 26: Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in his late 40s, blew himself up during a raid by US special forces in Syria.

November

– 24: Clive James, the Australian broadcaster, writer, critic, and poet, died aged 80 after a long battle with leukaemia.

– 30: One of the leading conductors to emerge from the former Soviet Union, Latvian Mariss Jansons, 76, died of cardiac arrest at his home in Saint Petersburg.

Police Investigate Image Believed To Be Sala’s Body Appearing Online

A picture shows flowers put in front of the entrance of the training centre La Joneliere in La Chapelle-Sur-Erdre on January 25, 2019, after the plane of Argentinian forward Emiliano Sala vanished during a flight from Nantes, western France, to Cardiff in Wales. 
LOIC VENANCE / AFP

 

British police are investigating after a photograph believed to be of late footballer Emiliano Sala’s body appeared online.

“We are aware that a picture reported to be of Mr Sala’s body has been shared on social media channels and are disgusted that somebody did this,” a police spokesman told the Sunday Mirror.

“It is clearly a very difficult time for Mr Sala’s family and they should not have to endure additional pain.

“We are investigating this incident,” he added.

READ ALSO: Emiliano Sala’s Father Dies Of Heart Attack

The image is believed to have been taken at the Holly Tree Lodge mortuary in Bournemouth, Dorset, following the plane crash that killed the 28-year-old striker.

The small plane carrying the player came down in the Channel en route to Cardiff on January 21, two days after he completed his transfer from French side Nantes.

Sala’s father, Horacio, died earlier this week at the age of 58 following a heart attack

Sala Tribute: Crowd Flock To Argentine Village In Honour Of Footballer

Stadium stewards display a portrait of Argentinian forward Emilianio Sala, whose plane disappeared over the Channel Islands over a week prior, in the middle of the pitch before the French L1 football match between Nantes (FCN) and Saint Etienne (ASSE) at the La Beaujoire stadium in Nantes, western France, on January 30, 2019./ AFP

 

The death in a plane crash of Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala was a cruel blow to family, friends and supporters in his home village in Argentina, and on Saturday they came, grieving, from miles around to pay their respects.

Through the morning, mourners gathered for a public vigil in a gymnasium in Progreso, the small farming town in Santa Fe province which Sala left as a teenager to play in Europe.

He was “loved and admired by all,” a restaurant owner told AFP. Sala would come home on breaks and would never fail to kick the ball around with village youngsters, they said. Unlike some soccer stars, he would keep a low profile, not flaunting his new wealth.

As his heartbroken father, mother and sister watched on Saturday, a giant poster of the 28-year-old hung behind his coffin, which was draped in the red and white colors of the San Martin de Progreso club where he began his career.

Sala’s father, Horacio, was devastated by his son’s death, family members said, and refused for days to leave his home.

Outside the club, which was at the center of the day’s commemorations, was a banner reading: “Emi, you will never walk alone.”

“He represented a lot for us,” the club’s president, Daniel Ribero, told AFP. “We’re a small village and Emi was a celebrity, the only player to turn professional.

“He was one of us. He meant a lot to us.”

More than 3,000 mourners came to pay respects.

“We all carry Emi in our hearts,” said Mayor Julio Muller in an emotional tribute.

– Crash in the Channel –
Sala had played for Nantes, becoming one of the top strikers in France, before being traded in January to Cardiff City in England’s Premier League in a 15 million pounds (19.3 million dollars) deal.

Just two days after making the move, Sala had flown back to Nantes on January 21 to pay farewell to his former teammates.

On the return flight across the English Channel, the single-engine private plane carrying Sala and pilot David Ibbotson crashed near the British island of Guernsey.

Sala reportedly had messaged friends from the plane, flying in rough weather, that he was “so afraid” and that the craft “seems like it’s falling to pieces.”

The player’s body was recovered from the submerged wreckage on February 7 but 59-year-old Ibbotson remains missing.

Thousands of supporters — including French soccer star Kylian Mbappe and former England captain Gary Lineker — had donated a total of more than $400,000 to pay for a private sea-bottom search after authorities had given up hope of finding the plane.

An inquest in England later concluded that the footballer died of “head and trunk injuries.”

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock and club executive Ken Choo traveled to Argentina to attend the ceremony Saturday.

“It was important for us to come and pay the respect to the family,” Warnock told AFP.

“People tell me: ‘He never played for you,’ but he was my player, I signed him, we had two or three conversations and he told me he would score the goals to keep Cardiff in the Premier League.”

Representing Nantes, for whom Sala scored 42 goals in 120 league appearances, were defender Nicolas Pallois and general secretary Loic Morin.

– A ‘before and an after’ –
Argentine President Mauricio Macri sent his condolences via Twitter.

Before joining the Nantes side in 2015, Sala had played with Bordeaux and Orleans, gaining a reputation as a prolific scorer.

Sala’s former team paid tribute to him in a French league match Sunday. Each player wore a special all-black kit for the occasion, with the Argentine’s name in large white letters on the back of each jersey.

In Progreso, Mayor Muller said that for the modest farming town there would now be a “before and an after” Sala.

One mourner, Miguel Angel Pereira, 68, made the 70-kilometer (43-mile) journey from Santa Fe to pay his respects on Saturday.

“I wanted to be here. I was a San Martin player myself in the 1960s,” he said.

Following the memorial ceremony, Sala’s body was to be cremated.

Sala’s Body Arrives In Argentina

A picture shows flowers put in front of the entrance of the training center La Joneliere in La Chapelle-sur-Erdre on January 25, 2019, four days after the plane of Argentinian forward Emiliano Sala vanished during a flight from Nantes, western France, to Cardiff in Wales. 
LOIC VENANCE / AFP

 

The coffin of footballer Emiliano Sala, who died in a plane crash between Nantes and Cardiff, arrived in Argentina on Friday ahead of his funeral in his hometown of Progreso.

The British Airways flight carrying the body landed shortly after 9:00 am (1200 GMT) at Buenos Aires airport. A van waited to drive it for funeral ceremonies in northeastern Santa Fe, the capital of Santa Fe province before it is returned to the family for final rites on Saturday.

“This is a day of historic grief for Progreso. We could never have imagined this, we are all in a state of shock,” Daniel Ribero, president of the San Martin de Progreso club, where Sala played for 10 years.

Sala’s body was recovered from the plane wreckage in the English Channel last week. He was flying to his new team, English Premier League side Cardiff City, from his old French club Nantes when his plane went missing on January 21.

The 28-year-old died of “head and trunk injuries,” an inquest in England heard on Monday.

READ ALSOCardiff City Manager To Attend Sala’s Funeral

He was travelling in a light aircraft that disappeared near the British island of Guernsey.

The wreckage was found on the seabed but 59-year-old pilot David Ibbotson remains missing.

Sala’s former team gave him a rousing send-off on Sunday, playing a French league match in a special all-black kit for the occasion, with each player wearing the Argentine’s name on the back of their jersey rather than their own.

Cardiff City Manager To Attend Sala’s Funeral

A picture shows flowers put in front of the entrance of the training center La Joneliere in La Chapelle-sur-Erdre on January 25, 2019, four days after the plane of Argentinian forward Emiliano Sala vanished during a flight from Nantes, western France, to Cardiff in Wales. 
LOIC VENANCE / AFP

 

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock and chief executive Ken Choo will attend Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala’s funeral in his home town on Saturday, the English Premier League club that signed him shortly before his death told AFP.

Their attendance was confirmed by club spokesman Mark Denham in an email on Thursday.

The 28-year-old had signed for Cardiff City and was flying to his new team from his old club Nantes in France when his light aircraft went missing over the Channel on January 21.

The striker’s body was recovered last week but pilot David Ibbotson is still missing. The plane remains under the sea.

Sala’s body is due to be returned to Argentina on Friday, the mayor of his hometown of Progreso had earlier told AFP.

An inquest in England concluded that the footballer died of “head and trunk injuries” and an investigation into the incident is ongoing.

Body Found Underwater In Wreckage Of Footballer Sala’s Plane

A handout video footage still image released by the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) shows the rear left side of the fuselage, including part of the aircraft registration, identified as part of the wreckage from the missing Piper Malibu aircraft that disappeared two weeks ago carrying footballer Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson lying on the seabed under the English Channel. / AFP

 

British investigators said Monday they had spotted a body in the wreckage of a plane that disappeared in the Channel two weeks ago carrying Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala and his pilot.

Sala, 28, was flying from France to join his new club, Premier League side Cardiff City, when the light aircraft disappeared on January 21 north of the island of Guernsey.

A wreck was found on the seabed on Sunday and closer inspection by a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) confirmed both that it was the missing plane, and that a body was inside.

“Tragically, in video footage from the ROV, one occupant is visible amidst the wreckage,” the British government’s Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) said in a statement.

“The AAIB is now considering the next steps, in consultation with the families of the pilot and passenger, and the police.”

The AAIB also released a grainy image showing a part of the fuselage with the aircraft registration. The depth indicated on the image was 67.7 metres (222 feet).

Sala’s father Horacio earlier spoke of his shock that the plane had been found, after a private search organised by the family.

“I can’t believe it. It’s a bad dream,” he told Cronica TV from his home in Progreso, Argentina, before the news about the body was announced.

Sala was flying to Cardiff after transferring from French team Nantes in a 17 million euro ($19.3 million) move — a record deal for the Welsh team.

READ ALSOFootballer Sala’s Missing Plane Found – Investigators

The plane, a Piper PA-46 Malibu, vanished from radar around 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of Guernsey, with British pilot David Ibbotson the only other person aboard.

– ‘Best we could have hoped for’ –
Local police called off the search after a few days, saying it was very unlikely anyone would still be found alive.

But Sala’s family launched a crowd-funding campaign for a private search, which raised over 300,000 euros.

They hired shipwreck hunter David Mearns, whose vessel used sonar equipment to identify the plane wreckage on Sunday morning within a few hours of starting the search.

Another vessel, hired by the AAIB, then used its remotely operated vehicle to survey the seabed.

“Based on analysis of ROV video footage, the AAIB investigators on board the vessel concluded that the object is wreckage from the missing Piper Malibu aircraft,” the AAIB said Monday.

Suspected debris from the plane washed up on the Normandy coastline in France last Wednesday, further dampening any hopes of finding the footballer and his pilot alive.

“This is about the best result we could have hoped for the families,” Mearns had earlier told Sky News.

Top footballers were among more than 4,500 contributors to a crowdfunding page to look for the wreckage, launched by Sala’s family.

Horacio was the only relative to stay behind in Argentina as the others rushed to France and Guernsey to try to help with the search.

“I talk to them every day,” he said.

“They kept saying days were going by, and that there had been zero word on Emiliano, or on the plane.”

At Cardiff’s match against Bournemouth on Saturday, Sala’s photograph appeared on the front cover of the matchday programme.

The two captains laid floral tributes on the halfway line before what the club called a “silent reflection”.

Sala’s name, in the Argentina colours, was also spelled out behind one of the goals as supporters held cards aloft.

Cardiff manager Neil Warnock said Sala would have been “really proud” of the team after they won 2-0 in their first home match since the plane vanished.

Programme notes, penned by owner Vincent Tan and the rest of the Bluebirds’ board, said events had shaken “Cardiff City to its very core”.

Search For Missing Sala Plane To Begin On Sunday

Cardiff In 'Shock' Over Sala's Disappearance
A picture released by Cardiff City FC via Noticias Argentinas, showing Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala posing with Cardiff’s jersey after signing for the club, in Cardiff, on January 20, 2019. HO / NOTICIAS ARGENTINAS / AFP

 

The privately-funded search for the missing plane carrying Argentinian footballer Emiliano Sala will begin on Sunday, conditions permitting, the scientist leading the mission said on Saturday.

Sala was travelling from France to join up with his new club,  Premier League strugglers Cardiff City, in a light aircraft on January 21 when it went missing close to the Channel Islands.

Suspected debris from the plane washed up on the Normandy coastline on Wednesday.

Marine scientist David Mearns, who is directing the private search on behalf of the Sala family, said: “Tomorrow the weather will be good. We will be able to operate tomorrow.”

READ ALSO: Cardiff In ‘Shock’ Over Sala’s Disappearance

The search will be conducted “in close coordination” with the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), with two vessels scouring around four square nautical miles of sea bed north of the Channel island of Guernsey.

Sala was flying in the Piper PA-46 Malibu plane after transferring from French team Nantes in a 17-million-euro ($19.3-million) move.

It vanished from radar around 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of Guernsey, with pilot Dave Ibbotson the only other person aboard.

Rescue workers suspended the official search for the aircraft last Thursday after an intensive hunt involving planes and boats failed to locate it.

AFP

Sala Remembered As Liverpool, Man City Resume Title Showdown

Nantes’ Argentinian Italian forward Emiliano Sala during the French L1 football match between Stade Rennais (Stade Resnais FC) and Nantes (FC Nantes) at The Roazhon Park in Rennes. AFP

 

Liverpool and Manchester City will resume their fight for Premier League supremacy in a midweek round of fixtures clouded by the suspected death of Cardiff striker Emiliano Sala.

The Bluebirds are in action for the first time since the plane carrying the Argentine disappeared over the Channel Islands a week ago. They visit Arsenal in what could have been Sala’s debut for the club.

In the title race, City have been forced to play catch-up since cutting Liverpool’s advantage at the top to four points by inflicting the Reds only league defeat of the season on January 3.

This week City can apply pressure by cutting the gap to a solitary point as they travel to struggling Newcastle 24 hours before Liverpool host Leicester.

AFP Sports picks out some of the main talking points ahead of the midweek games.

Sala remembered

“He’s going to be remembered as the best player we never had,” one Cardiff fan said when asked how to put Sala’s disappearance into words.

Signed from Nantes for a club record fee, struggling Cardiff hoped his goals could keep them in the Premier League. Now they must somehow try to achieve survival on the field while dealing with tragedy off it.

A minute’s silence will be held before all Premier League games this week in honour of Sala and the plane’s pilot David Ibbotson after the authorities called off their active search for the aircraft.

Once the action gets underway, though, Arsenal have to be ruthless in the fight for Champions League qualification — a victory would take them level on points with fourth-placed Chelsea, who visit Bournemouth on Wednesday.

Cup capitulation heaps pressure on Spurs

“In reality, the most important thing is being consistent in the top four and playing in the Champions League,” insisted Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino after crashing out of two cup competitions in four days.

Despite doing a remarkable job to turn Tottenham into top-four regulars, Pochettino is yet to win in a trophy in his five seasons at Spurs.

And by downplaying the importance of silverware, the Argentine has piled the pressure on his injury-ravaged side to hold onto their place in the top four to ensure Champions League qualification for a fourth straight season.

With Harry Kane and Dele Alli sidelined until March, a kind run of fixtures that sees Watford, Newcastle and Leicester visit Wembley before a trip to Burnley over the next month is just what Pochettino needs.

Solskjaer on cloud nine

United’s caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer acknowledged he is “loving” his role and can do no wrong, with a run of eight straight wins putting the Red Devils right back in top-four contention and into the last 16 of the FA Cup.

More of the same will be expected when Burnley visit Old Trafford on Tuesday fresh from being thrashed 5-0 on the other side of Manchester by City in the FA Cup at the weekend.

United’s 3-1 win in the Cup at Arsenal on Friday was just as impressive and leaves Solskjaer spoiled for choice.

Alexis Sanchez scored and Romelu Lukaku provided two assists to make their case for a more regular start, but Solskjaer is expected to keep faith with in-form Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, who came off the bench to score at the Emirates.

Can Higuain hit the ground running?

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri finally has the striker he wanted in Gonzalo Higuain, and must now hope the Argentine’s firepower keeps his side in the top four.

Higuain failed to find the net in Sunday’s 3-0 Cup win over Sheffield Wednesday to get up to speed and will likely make his Premier League debut away to Bournemouth on Wednesday.

A 2-1 win over Spurs to reach the League Cup final last week suggests Sarri’s side are a different prospect when Eden Hazard is restored to his favoured position on the left of a front three.

Higuain’s presence should allow the Belgian to shine. The on-loan Juventus striker comes with a prolific record in club football.

Fixtures (kick-offs 1945 GMT unless stated)

Tuesday

Arsenal v Cardiff, Fulham v Brighton, Huddersfield v Everton, Wolves v West Ham, Manchester United v Burnley (2000), Newcastle v Manchester City (2000)

Wednesday

Bournemouth v Chelsea, Southampton v Crystal Palace, Liverpool v Leicester (2000), Tottenham v Watford (2000).

AFP

Sala: Licence Of Pilot Flying Premier League Player Under Scrutiny

Cardiff In 'Shock' Over Sala's Disappearance
Picture released by Cardiff City FC via Noticias Argentinas, showing Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala posing with Cardiff’s jersey after signing for the club, in Cardiff, on January 20, 2019. HO / NOTICIAS ARGENTINAS / AFP

 

British investigators said Friday they were probing the licence held by the pilot of the small plane carrying Premier League player Emiliano Sala that went missing over the Channel this week.

The light aircraft transporting the 28-year-old striker, who signed for Cardiff City last weekend, disappeared from radar around 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of Guernsey on Monday night.

The local coastguard on Wednesday named the pilot, the only other person in the plane, as David Ibbotson — a 60-year-old married father of three from northern England, according to reports.

A spokesman for Britain’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) told AFP his licence would be reviewed as part of its probe into the plane’s disappearance.

“We would look at operational aspects of the flight and that would include licensing,” he said.

“Our purpose is not to apportion blame or liability. Our purpose is to establish the cause of an accident,” the spokesman added.

Ibbotson reportedly told a friend via social media shortly before take-off that he was “a bit rusty” with some of the controls on the plane.

Sala, who signed on Saturday from French club Nantes for a reported fee of 17 million euros ($19.3 million), was flying to Cardiff in a single-engine Piper PA-46 Malibu aircraft registered in the United States.

According to a US Federal Aviation Administration database, Ibbotson held a British private pilot licence which provided the basis for a similar certificate issued there in 2014 permitting him to fly single-engine planes.

Britain’s Civil Aviation Authority, which issues UK licences in accordance with European Union regulations, said Friday it could not “confirm the type of licence held by Ibbotson”.

According to EU aviation rules posted online by the CAA, a private pilot licence is “for recreational flying only”.

“You aren’t allowed to be paid for any flying you do using one, apart from some flight instructor work,” its guidance states, noting pilots receiving payment need a commercial license.

Rescue workers formally called off the search for the missing plane on Thursday, prompting Sala’s sister to make a desperate plea for its resumption.

Romina Sala said that she feels her brother and Ibbotson are still alive.

“Please, please, please don’t stop the search,” she told a press conference in Cardiff on Thursday. “For us, they are still alive.”

AFP

Police Call Off Search For Missing Footballer Sala

Nantes’ Argentinian Italian forward Emiliano Sala/AFP

 

Police on Thursday ended their search for Premier League player Emiliano Sala, saying the chances of finding the Argentine alive three days after his plane went missing over the Channel were “extremely remote”.

The light aircraft transporting the 28-year-old striker, who signed for Cardiff City at the weekend, disappeared from radar around 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of Guernsey on Monday night.

The tiny island sits off the northern coast of France.

“We reviewed all the information available to us, as well as knowing what emergency equipment was on board, and have taken the difficult decision to end the search,” Guernsey said in a statement.

“The chances of survival at this stage are extremely remote.”

The police said they have informed the next of kin of Sala and the missing pilot, who has been identified as David Ibbotson.

The police said teams from the Channel Islands, the United Kingdom and France had searched an area of approximately 1,700 square miles (4,400 square kilometres), “with a significant amount of this searched more than once”.

 ‘It’s going to fall apart’ 

Sala, who signed on Saturday from French club Nantes for a reported fee of 17 million euros ($19.3 million), was flying to Cardiff in a single-engine Piper PA-46 Malibu aircraft.

Britain’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), which is probing the disappearance, said the plane was registered in the United States.

It has emerged Sala expressed concerns about the jet on the flight, according to an audio message sent to friends and relatives.

“I’m on a plane that looks like it’s going to fall apart,” the rising star said in a rambling WhatsApp audio message from on board.

Police earlier said rescuers had spotted “a number of floating objects in the water” but had not been able to confirm whether these were linked to the plane.

British media said the pilot Ibbotson was a 60-year-old married father of three who lived in Scunthorpe in northern England.

Football agent Mark McKay confirmed Thursday he was involved in making the travel arrangements for Sala between France and Wales through the player and his agent Meissa N’Diaye.

“I began to look into arranging a private flight to take him to Nantes on Saturday morning,” he told Britain’s Sky Sports News.

“That evening, it was confirmed a plane was available to fly Emiliano on Saturday which could remain in Nantes until he was due to return to Cardiff.

“I have been in contact with officials from Cardiff and the player’s agent over these difficult past few days and will continue to do so.”

In Sala’s Argentine hometown of Progreso, his father Horacio told the press on Tuesday that the wait for news “makes me fear the worst”.

The striker, who had been at Nantes since 2015 and had scored 13 goals in all competitions this season, had signed a three-and-a-half-year contract with relegation-threatened Cardiff subject to receiving international clearance.

Flowers and scarves were laid outside the club’s stadium.

Tributes were also paid to Sala at several French Cup matches this week, while his former Nantes teammate Yacine Bammou raised his hands towards the sky in an emotional celebration after scoring for Caen on Wednesday.

AFP

Search Resumes For Missing Plane Of Cardiff Striker Sala

Nantes’ Argentinian Italian forward Emiliano Sala during the French L1 football match between Stade Rennais (Stade Resnais FC) and Nantes (FC Nantes) at The Roazhon Park in Rennes. AFP

 

Rescue workers on Thursday spent a third day hunting for a missing plane near the British island of Guernsey carrying new Premier League player Emiliano Sala, who is now presumed dead along with the pilot.

The light aircraft transporting the Argentine striker, who signed for Cardiff City at the weekend, disappeared from radar around 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of Guernsey on Monday night.

“The search is ongoing and a decision about continuing will be made once all assets have completed this morning’s search pattern,” Guernsey police said on Twitter at 1050 GMT.

Police on the island, which sits off the north coast of France, had earlier announced a resumption of the search after suspending efforts overnight.

Officials scoured the uninhabited island of Burhou, northeast of Guernsey, by foot Thursday morning, according to the force.

“No trace of the aircraft or those on board has been found,” it added.

Multiple aircraft, including from Britain and France, and lifeboats were used in the intensive search on Tuesday and Wednesday.

A pilot involved in the operations said there was now “no chance” of finding survivors.

Mike Tidd, from Channel Islands Air Search —  a voluntary rescue service for local waters — told Britain’s ITV: “The area has been very well covered, there is absolutely no chance of finding anybody alive now.”

He added that the most rescuers could hope to do was “pinpoint where the aircraft went in”.

 ‘It’s going to fall apart’ 

Sala, who signed on Saturday from French club Nantes for a reported fee of 17 million euros ($19.3 million), was flying to Cardiff in a single-engine Piper PA-46 Malibu aircraft.

Britain’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), which is probing the disappearance, said the plane was registered in the United States.

It has emerged the Argentine footballer expressed concerns about the jet on the flight, according to an audio message sent to friends and relatives.

“I’m on a plane that looks like it’s going to fall apart,” the 28-year-old said in a rambling WhatsApp audio message from on board.

Police earlier said rescuers had spotted “a number of floating objects in the water” but had not been able to confirm whether these were linked to the plane.

The Guernsey coastguard on Wednesday named the pilot, the only other person in the plane, as David Ibbotson.

British media said he was a 60-year-old married father of three and lived in Scunthorpe in northern England.

Football agent Mark McKay confirmed Thursday he was involved in making the travel arrangements for Sala between France and Wales through the player and his agent Meissa N’Diaye.

“I began to look into arranging a private flight to take him to Nantes on Saturday morning,” he told Britain’s Sky Sports News.

“That evening, it was confirmed a plane was available to fly Emiliano on Saturday which could remain in Nantes until he was due to return to Cardiff.

“I have been in contact with officials from Cardiff and the player’s agent over these difficult past few days and will continue to do so.”

In Sala’s Argentine hometown of Progreso, his father Horacio told the press on Tuesday that as “the hours go by and I don’t know anything, it makes me fear the worst”.

The striker, who had been at Nantes since 2015 and had scored 13 goals in all competitions this season, had signed a three-and-a-half-year contract with relegation-threatened Cardiff subject to receiving international clearance.

The club called off Tuesday’s training session, and stunned supporters laid flowers and scarves outside the club’s stadium.

Tributes were paid to Sala at several French Cup matches this week, while his former Nantes teammate Yacine Bammou pointed towards the sky in an emotional celebration after scoring for Caen on Wednesday.

AFP