Emiliano Sala’s family have urged police to reconsider calling off the search for the missing Cardiff City striker.
Search and rescue efforts resumed for a third day early on Thursday after the Piper Malibu aircraft with Sala and pilot David Ibbotson on board went missing en route to the Welsh capital on Monday.
But Guernsey Police confirmed that following an extensive operation covering approximately 1,700 square miles around the Channel Islands, no trace of the plane, pilot or passenger had been found.
Harbour master captain David Barker said in a statement the search would therefore cease as “the chances of survival at this stage are extremely remote”.
Please read the attached statement.
Unless there is a significant development, there will be no further updates pic.twitter.com/jbEIFMB3zi
— Guernsey Police (@GuernseyPolice) January 24, 2019
Sala’s family, however, believe it is too soon to stop looking.
“I’m very confused,” Sala’s sister Romina said to ESPN. “The only thing that I want is that my brother and the pilot be found.
“We ask them [the authorities] to put themselves in our place, in the hearts of the relatives.
“Please, don’t stop searching. I know that they are alive and they are waiting for us.”
Devastating news about Emiliano Sala. Wishing and praying for strength, courage and some good news for his family and friends.
— Thierry Henry (@ThierryHenry) January 22, 2019
Sala’s father Horacio also urged Guernsey Police to reconsider their decision.
“We are asking to please keep looking for him,” he said to TyC Sports.
“We can’t believe that they are cancelling the search. I ask that [they] please continue the search.
“It can’t be that a plane disappears and there is no trace of anything.”
— FC Nantes (@FCNantes) January 24, 2019
Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman stated Sala made his own travel arrangements, while Mark McKay – an agent involved in brokering the player’s move to the Bluebirds – confirmed he organised the flight but denied the missing aircraft was owned by him or his family.
Nantes supporters held vigils in the striker’s honour in the French city, while their scheduled Coupe de France fixture against Entente SSG was postponed.
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