Cardiff City have called off their training session today as the club continue to await news of their record signing Emiliano Sala, whose plan went missing yesterday while flying back from Nantes.
Sala flew to Cardiff to sign for the club last Friday, had his introductory photos taken alongside director Ken Choo (above) then flew back to Nantes to bid farewell to his former teammates.
However, the plane and its two passengers disappeared en route and is believed to have gone down somewhere off the coast of Alderney. A search and rescue operation is ongoing amid worsening weather conditions but so far no trace of the aircraft has been spotted.
On behalf of the Cardiff directors, Choo has issued a statement voicing the club’s collective shock:
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, 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 NEws, Choo also said that Sala was “so happy” to have signed for the Bluebirds and was looking forward to making his debut.
"He was so happy to join Cardiff City."
Cardiff City CEO Ken Choo has reacted to reports that footballer Emiliano Sala was on a light aircraft that disappeared from radar in the English Channel.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) 22 January 2019
Tragically, Channel Islands Airsearch chief officer John Fitzgerald has told the press that he “is not expecting anyone to be alive” should the plane be found.
Safe to say that everybody is still clinging to the possibility of a positive outcome, but the chances are getting narrower with each passing hour.
How awful that Sala might never get to wear the blue shirt he was proudly holding aloft just a few days ago.