Emiliano Sala is still missing after the plane he was travelling from Nantes to Cardiff disappeared over the English Channel earlier this week.
The Argentine striker, who had just become Cardiff City’s club-record signing, has now been missing for five days along with the plane’s pilot David Ibbotson.
Guernsey Police controversially chose to call off the search on Thursday, while authorities have stated that the likelihood of the aircraft occupants surviving the incident are “extremely remote”.
Despite that, football fans and players have united to fundraise a private search.
A GoFundMe page is close to reaching its €300,000 target. Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot personally pledged €25,000 to ensure the search for Sala and Ibbotson continues over the coming days.
Teams competing in the FA Cup fourth round on Friday and Saturday wore black armbands as a mark of respect for the two missing men.
Burnley, for example, tweeted on Saturday afternoon before their game against Manchester City: “Both teams will wear black armbands today as our thoughts are with missing Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson and all their families and friends. There will also be a moment of silent reflection ahead of kick off.”
However, black armbands were not present on either the Millwall or Everton players during Saturday evening’s televised FA Cup clash.
BBC commentator Jonathan Pearce - per John Cross of the Mirror - later confirmed this was because the family of Sala had contacted the FA to stress that Emiliano has not been found yet.
Understandably, they feel that black armbands are inappropriate in this case, still firmly of the belief that their relative is alive.
Surely the FA should have checked with Sala’s family first to make sure they were fine with teams wearing black armbands?
As Cross says, it’s a heartbreaking situation all around.
Hopefully, if the private search goes ahead, his family get the answers they deserve soon.