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22nd Jan 2019

Cardiff City issue statement after confirmation Emiliano Sala was aboard missing plane

James Dawson

The 28-year-old striker had just signed with the club for a record fee

Cardiff City have said that their planned training session was cancelled on Tuesday morning following the news Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala was onboard a small passenger aircraft that disappeared from radar on Monday evening.

The plane went missing over the English Channel, close to the Casquets lighthouse, 13km north-west of Alderney with a rescue effort currently underway in the area. The aircraft had been due to land in Cardiff around 9pm.

Guernsey police confirmed on Tuesday morning that no trace had been found of the plane overnight.

Cardiff City FC Executive Director & CEO Ken Choo said: “We were very shocked upon hearing the news that the plane had gone missing. We expected Emiliano to arrive last night into Cardiff and today was due to be his first day with the team.

“Our owner, Tan Sri Vincent Tan, and chairman, Mehmet Dalman, are all very distressed about the situation.

“We made the decision first thing this morning to call off training with the thoughts of the squad, management staff and the entire Club with Emiliano and the pilot.

“All of us at Cardiff City FC would like to thank our fans, and the entire footballing family for their support at this difficult time.

“We continue to pray for positive news.”

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Choo added: “We called off training today because everybody is not in the right frame of mind. Everybody is shocked at this point in time, including myself.

“The second thing is I met him on Friday and he is such a nice person. He’s so, so happy to be here and so happy to start.

“Words can’t describe the look on his face when he met us and we walked him around the ground.

“We knew him then and we really feel sad to hear of this news because he’s such a great person.

“I think you could see the happiness in his face, one of the best days of his life as he expressed. So we are very sad, we want to thank people who have supported us today, with lots of messages and emails.”

Sala, who was announced as Cardiff’s £15 million record signing over the weekend, had been playing for Nantes in Ligue 1 this season.