Cardiff ‘shocked and distressed’ at news that Emiliano Sala was on missing plane

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Cardiff’s executive director Ken Choo has expressed his shock and distress at hearing the plane carrying new striker Emiliano Sala has gone missing over the English Channel.

Sala, 28, was on his way back to Wales after saying goodbye to his Nantes team-mates on Monday night when contact was lost with the aircraft.

Choo said in a statement: “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.”

Choo added: “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.”

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Sala had signed a three-and-a-half year deal with the Welsh club after scoring 12 Ligue 1 goals in 19 appearances this season.

Choo described Sala as a “great person” and revealed he had been “so happy” to sign for Cardiff.

He said in an in-house TV interview: “You could see from his face he is so, so happy to be here and ready to start.

“Words cannot describe the look on his face when he met us, we walked him around the ground, he was absolutely ready to give it a go.

“We really feel sad to hear of this news because we met such a great person.”

Guernsey Police have confirmed that “two planes, two helicopters and a lifeboat” were searching for the missing aircraft but that “no trace had been found.”

That statement also said that conditions for the search had been difficult overnight but had improved.

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“Today the sea is much calmer, although visibility was good, it is now deteriorating,” the statement read.

“UK authorities have been calling airfields on the south coast to see if it landed there. So far we have no confirmation it did.

“Search continues. Decision at sunset about overnight search.”

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