Police have confirmed that the body found in the wreckage of a plane carrying Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson has been identified as the Cardiff City striker.
The UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) had confirmed on Wednesday that an unidentified body had been passed to the Dorset Coroner after it was recovered from the English Channel.
The airplane, a Piper Malibu aircraft, disappeared with Sala and pilot David Ibbotson on board on January 21, with the 28-year-old en route to Cardiff from having completed a club-record transfer from Ligue 1 side Nantes.
A police statement issued late on Thursday read: “The body brought to Portland Port today, Thursday 7 February 2019, has been formally identified by HM Coroner for Dorset as that of professional footballer Emiliano Sala.
“The families of Mr. Sala and the pilot David Ibbotson have been updated with this news and will continue to be supported by specially-trained family liaison officers. Our thoughts remain with them at this difficult time.
“HM Coroner will continue to investigate the circumstances of this death supported by Dorset Police.”
An initial search and rescue effort was called off by Guernsey Police after three days on January 24.
A shipwreck hunter hired by Emiliano Sala’s family with the help of funds donated by football stars such as Ngolo Kante and Kylian Mbappe found the plane wreckage on Sunday.
The AAIB who then took over the operation revealed on Monday that an unidentified body had been found at the site.