The father of Emiliano Sala, Horacio, has died suddenly in Argentina.
It has been reported that Horacio, 58, suffered a heart attack and died before paramedics arrived at the Sala family home in Progreso, Argentina.
The mayor of Progreso, Julio Muller, confirmed to radio station La Red that Horacio Sala had passed away and that a ‘heart issue’ was the cause.
“The partner of Horacio called me at five in the morning. The doctors were already there. When he left his home, he had already died,” Muller said. “He could never get over Emi’s death.”
This terrible news for the Sala family comes just over three months since Emiliano tragically died in a plane crash in the English Channel. The Argentine striker was flying back from Nantes to his new home of Cardiff, just two days after completing a club-record $19 million transfer to the Premier League side.
An investigation into why the small aircraft flying Sala crashed continues, as his body has been recovered from the English Channel but pilot David Ibbotson, the only other person on board, has never been found.
Cardiff City and Nantes are currently in discussions with legal teams and FIFA over the payment of the transfer fee and other funds that were due to Sala, and now his family, after his big move to the PL in January.
Tributes have poured in from across the soccer world for Emiliano Sala, after his death was confirmed on Thursday.
The body of Sala, 28, was recovered from wreckage of an airplane found on the seabed of the English Channel.
Cardiff City’s club-record signing went missing, along with pilot David Ibbotson, on Jan. 21 when the light aircraft they were traveling in from Nantes to Cardiff lost contact with air traffic control near the Channel Islands. Sala was flying to Cardiff after returning to Nantes to collect some belongings and say goodbye to his former teammates.
Ibbotson’s body has yet to be found, as a private search involving the Air Accidents Investigation Bureau (AAIB) in the UK continues but has been delayed amid poor weather at sea.
The French leagues will pay tribute to Sala with a minute silence across their games this weekend, while his former club Nantes have retired his no. 9 jersey.
Several star names from across the globe have sent out messages of support for Sala, as the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Sergio Aguero and Lionel Messi were key in donating money and raising awareness about the private search which located the wreckage on Sunday.
Below are a few of the messages from across the world paying tribute to Sala.
A private search team led by shipwreck specialist David Mearns has located the wreckage of the plane carrying Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala off the coast of the Channel Islands.
The wreckage was located Sunday morning, Mearns announced on social media, just hours after beginning the search financed in part by crowdfunding action. No specifics were announced about what in particular was found, but Mears posted on Twitter saying, “The families of Emiliano Sala and [pilot] David Ibbotson have been notified by Police. The AAIB [Air Accident Investigation Branch] will be making a statement tomorrow. Tonight our sole thoughts are with the families and friends of Emiliano and David.”
Mears’ plan for the search, he announced earlier that morning, was to search a four square nautical mile area over the course of a three-day span.
The Piper Malibu aircraft went down on January 21st on its way from Nantes, France to Cardiff, with the Argentine striker and pilot David Ibbotson on board. Sala had completed a transfer from Ligue 1 side FC Nantes for a club record $20 million.
A lengthy search was conducted immediately after the plane was reported missing, but was called off on January 24th with officials claiming the chances of Sala’s and Ibbotson’s survival “extremely remote.”
The search for missing Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala and the pilot of a small aircraft that disappeared from radar while taking the player from Nantes to Wales has resumed Wednesday.
Called off for the night, the search is being conducted under the slim hopes that Sala was picked up by a passing boat and yet to make contact or made it into the plane’s life raft but are yet to be spotted.
The pilot has been identified as Dave Ibbotson of North Lincolnshire.
[ MORE: Sala missing | Teammates react ]
Channel Islands Air Search chief officer John Fitzgerald (video) says it is “very unlikely to have an aircraft that’s in one piece,” noting that they found an orange cushion and a bent piece of metal in the water.
UPDATE: Fitzgerald is now describing the mission as “recovery, not rescue.”
Nantes supporters held a vigil (at bottom) for Sala on Tuesday evening.
Sky Sports reports that Nantes has again canceled training, while Cardiff will resume on Wednesday.
Emiliano Sala had been exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide prior to the plane crash which claimed his life on Jan. 21, 2019, according to toxicology tests.
While it is unknown exactly when the 28-year-old Argentine was exposed to carbon monoxide, the Air Accidents Investigations Branch believes that pilot David Ibbotson, who has still not been found, would have likely also been exposed.
“Toxicology tests found that the passenger had a high saturation level of COHb (the combination product of carbon monoxide and hemoglobin). It is considered likely that the pilot would also have been exposed to carbon monoxide.”
According to the tests, the levels of carbon monoxide in Sala’s blood were so high that it could have caused a seizure, unconsciousness or a heart attack, according to the BBC.
Sala, who was to be Cardiff City’s club-record signing, was returned to Argentina and laid to rest in February.