Family mourns Sala after body in channel wreckage identified

Nantes announce plan to retire No.9 jersey in Sala's honour

"We can't forget in this drama the pilot and his family and have confidence that the authorities will continue their search".

David Ibbotson of North Lincolnshire was flying the Cardiff City player from Nantes to the United Kingdom when their plane crashed near Guernsey on 21 January.

Sala's body was formally identified on Thursday.

"We can now begin to mourn our son and our brother", the Argentine Cardiff City striker's family said in a statement.

"Seeing the whole world mobilised to support us in our research has been an infinitely precious help".

Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan said on Friday that the club have offered to pay to take Sala "back to rest" in his hometown of Progreso in rural Argentina.

"The homages paid to him nationally and internationally match the player and personal that he was".

More news: National Pizza Day deals that are too good to pass up

His French former club, Nantes, said it was retiring Sala's number nine jersey.

The flight carrying Sala from Nantes to Cardiff following his £15 million (Dh72.1m) transfer to the Premier League club crashed into the sea near Alderney on January 21.

The plane was located on the seabed off Guernsey on Sunday using a remotely operated vehicle, during which time a body was found amid what remained of the light aircraft.

Once that was done, a body was discovered inside the wreckage, and then duly retrieved. We will never forget you Emi.

"Any donations would be very much appreciated".

Before Saturday's kick-off there was an impeccably observed minute's silence at the ground with Cardiff going on to win 2-1 thanks to Kenneth Zohore's dramatic goal in the third minute of stoppage time which saw them climb out of the relegation zone. The footballer was travelling from Nantes to Cardiff when the incident happened.

Sala's sister Romina wrote on her Instagram account: "Your soul in my soul will shine forever".

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