Cardiff City are "concerned" by the results of the latest report from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) into the death of footballer Emiliano Sala.

The striker, along with pilot David Ibbotson, went missing when their plane crashed over the English Channel in January, days after his move to the Premier League club from Nantes was announced.

Sala's body was later recovered from the wreckage, but Ibbotson has not been found.

A report from the AAIB released on Wednesday said Ibbotson was "likely" to have been exposed to carbon monoxide before the crash, while toxicology tests on Sala showed clear signs of exposure to the poisonous gas.

Cardiff say the latest findings show the plane carrying Sala was "not appropriate".

A club spokesperson said: "CCFC is concerned at the AAIB's latest report which once again highlights that the aircraft used for Emiliano Sala was not appropriate.

"We continue to believe that those who were instrumental in arranging its usage are held to account for this tragedy."

The AAIB, meanwhile, has responded to calls from Sala's family to recover the plane's wreckage.

"The reasons for our decision not to recover the aircraft wreckage have been explained in detail to both families concerned," the organisation said in a statement.

"In February our underwater search operation successfully located the wreckage, recovered the passenger's body and captured substantial video evidence from the scene using a remotely operated vehicle. It was not possible at the time to recover the wreckage. 

"We have carefully considered the feasibility and merits of returning to attempt to recover the wreckage. In this case, we consider that it will not add significantly to the investigation and we will identify the correct safety issues through other means. 

"In making our decision, we took into account the high cost of underwater recovery, the evidence we collected in February and the risk that, after a violent impact with the sea, the wreckage would not yield definitive evidence."

Pilot David Ibbotson is "likely" to have been exposed to carbon monoxide before the plane on which he and footballer Emiliano Sala were travelling crashed over the English Channel in January.

A report from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said toxicology tests on Argentinian Sala, whose body was found in the wreckage, showed clear signs of exposure to the poisonous gas.

Search teams have found no sign of Ibbotson, who is presumed dead.

Striker Sala, who was 28, had said goodbye to former Nantes team-mates before travelling to join his new club, Cardiff City, when the Piper Malibu plane crashed north of Guernsey.

He died from head and trunk injuries, an inquest heard in February.

The AAIB said in a statement on Wednesday that its latest findings showed "the danger of exposure to carbon monoxide in both piston and turbine engine aircraft".

"Toxicology tests found that the passenger had a high saturation level of COHb (the combination product of carbon monoxide and haemoglobin)," said the AAIB statement.

"It is considered likely that the pilot would also have been exposed to carbon monoxide.

"When our investigation has concluded, we will publish a final report."

Geraint Herbert, principal inspector of air accidents with the AAIB, explained the impact of carbon monoxide poisoning.

He said: “Carbon monoxide is an odourless and colourless gas.

“Symptoms at low-exposure levels can be drowsiness and dizziness, but as the exposure level increases it can lead to unconsciousness and death.

“Inexpensive carbon monoxide detectors are widely available and can be fitted to aircraft to warn pilots of the presence of carbon monoxide.

“The investigation continues to look into a wide range of areas in relation to this accident but in particular we are looking at the potential ways in which carbon monoxide can enter the cabin in this kind of aircraft.

“We'll be publishing our final report in due course.”

Police investigating the death of Emiliano Sala have confirmed a man has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter by an unlawful act.

Sala and pilot David Ibbotson died when the plane they were travelling in to Wales, after the 28-year-old striker joined Cardiff City from Nantes, crashed in the English Channel on January 21.

Detective Inspector Simon Huxter, of Dorset Police's major crime investigation team, said in a statement on Wednesday: "We have carried out a wide-ranging investigation into the circumstances of the death of Mr Sala and continue to work with partner agencies including the Civil Aviation Authority.

"As part of this investigation we have to consider whether there is any evidence of any suspected criminality and as a result of our enquiries we have today, Wednesday 19 June 2019, arrested a 64-year-old man from the North Yorkshire area on suspicion of manslaughter by an unlawful act. He is assisting with our enquiries and has been released from custody under investigation.

"This matter therefore is still subject to a live investigation and I would ask the media and members of the public to refrain from speculation, as this could cause additional distress to the families involved as well as potentially hinder the investigation.

"As is standard practice, we will not be releasing any further information as to the identity of the individual who has been arrested unless that person is charged to appear in court and again would discourage any speculation in relation to this."

Police added in a statement that the families of Sala and Ibbotson have been informed.

Emiliano Sala was not keen on joining Cardiff City from Nantes, a voice message from the striker has revealed.

The Argentinian expressed his concerns over the £15million move to a friend two weeks before he tragically died when the light aircraft he and pilot David Ibbotson were travelling in to Wales crashed on January 21.

L'Equipe obtained the WhatsApp recording and included it in a documentary published on Wednesday.

Sala said: "Last night, I sent a message to Meissa [N'Diaye, Sala's agent]. He called me a few hours later.

"We had discussions and he told me the last night Franck Kita [son of Nantes owner Waldemar] sent him a message to talk, so he called him. They spoke. And, they want to sell me.

"There is an offer from Cardiff today. On their side, they have negotiated to get a lot of money, so they absolutely want me to go there.

"It is true that it is a good contract but from a football perspective it is not interesting for me. They are trying in every way to get me to go there.

"Me, I am not scared to go there, because I have battled throughout my career, so to go there and fight, that does not make me scared. On the contrary.

"But I'm also thinking to myself that Meissa must find me something better between now and the end of the [transfer] window. Meissa has said no to Cardiff because he does not want me to go there.

"He thinks that, in terms of football, in terms of where we are today, we are in a position of strength in every way, in terms of on the pitch, the contract, all of that. But I don't care about that and I do not want that. I don't give a f*** about being in a position of strength.

"It is true that I would like to find something interesting in terms of contractually and also from a football perspective, but sometimes you can't have both."

The clubs wrangled about the payment of the transfer fee in the aftermath of Sala's death. Nantes made a complaint to FIFA as Cardiff stalled on the instalment, with Bluebirds chairman Mehmet Dalman pointing to alleged "anomalies" in the deal.

Nantes president Waldemar Kita, who was played Sala's voice message during the documentary, said he no longer has any interest in receiving payment for the striker.

"The truth is, I don't even want that money, and I may never get it," Kita told L'Equipe.

"I don't want to make money on someone who died tragically. I'm not interested in that."

When asked why he had therefore not brought the issue to a halt, Kita replied: "I am not involved at all in the case. The lawyers are in charge of it."

Neil Warnock said he could not fault Cardiff City's players following their relegation from the Premier League, while acknowledging the setback was put into perspective by the tragic death of Emiliano Sala.

Cardiff agreed a deal with Nantes to make Sala their record signing in January, but the Argentinian striker was killed, at the age of 28, when a plane he was travelling in crashed in the English Channel, just two days on from his move to Wales being announced.

After a 3-2 home defeat to Crystal Palace on Saturday ended Cardiff's hopes of avoiding an immediate return to the Championship, manager Warnock told a news conference: "We have missed a goalscorer. Someone asked me about Emiliano ... but I think that also puts things in perspective. We've got relegated. The lad lost his life."

Responding to further questioning about the devastating incident, Warnock added: "Obviously it was difficult. This was something completely out of the blue. I wish we could have had Emiliano with us because I think he would have scored 10 goals.

"But I can't fault the lads. They've given me everything and they've just come up short."

Warnock was unable to confirm whether he would stay with Cardiff next season, explaining he would hold talks with the club's hierarchy "in the next few weeks".

However, the 70-year-old added: "I will be working next year. I will have a year somewhere. I am looking forward to that challenge now. If I hadn't got the drive, I wouldn't do it, but I have got the drive."

A significant number of Cardiff fans stayed after the full-time whistle to offer warm applause to the Bluebirds' players and staff following their final home game of the campaign.

"I've never seen a relegated team get an ovation like that," said Warnock. "Daft as it sounds, it's probably my best job ever to do what I've done with this club. We've had to overcome so much, keeping a group like this together. I can't really be any prouder."

Palace boss Roy Hodgson was pleased with the efforts of his side as strikes from Wilfried Zaha, Michy Batshuayi and Andros Townsend outweighed a Martin Kelly own goal and Bobby Reid's late consolation.

Hodgson told a news conference: "Cardiff have fought very hard in every game throughout the season ... so we knew they'd be giving us nothing and we'd have to fight and work hard for every opportunity. We matched them and showed the necessary quality."

The father of Emiliano Sala has died just three months after the footballer was killed in a plane crash. 

Horacio Sala, who was 58, passed away at his home in Progreso, Argentina following a heart attack. 

Julio Muller, the mayor of the town in the Santa Fe province where Emiliano Sala was born, confirmed the news to radio station La Red. 

"This year doesn't stop surprising us with bad news in this town," he said. 

"At five o'clock, Horacio's partner called me because she was very upset. We live four blocks from their house. When I arrived, the doctors were already there, but he had already passed away." 

Muller said Horacio Sala had struggled to come to terms with the death of his son, whose body was recovered in the English Channel after the plane carrying him from Nantes to Cardiff crashed. Pilot David Ibbotson has not been found. 

"I cannot believe it. This is a dream. A bad dream. I am desperate," Horacio told Cronica TV shortly after the crash, which happened when his son was travelling to the UK to link up with Cardiff City after agreeing to a £15million transfer from Nantes in January. 

Daniel Ribero, the president of Emiliano Sala's old club San Martin de Progreso, said Horacio had recently shown signs of recovery from his grief. 

"I was with him during the week," said Ribero, as quoted by Ole. "I passed him in the street and we spent half an hour talking about the soybean harvest, the truck... 

"I noticed he was better, he was keen to talk." 

Cardiff City are seeking talks with Nantes to settle the dispute over the £15million transfer fee for the late Emiliano Sala.

FIFA had originally ordered the clubs to resolve the matter by Wednesday but has agreed to Cardiff's request for an extension, which will run until Monday, April 15.

The Premier League side refused to make the first scheduled payment, owing to what chairman Mehmet Dalman identified as "anomalies" in the deal, prompting Nantes to make a complaint to FIFA.

A statement from Cardiff read: "Cardiff City has requested and been granted an extension to the deadline to respond to FIFA on this matter.

"Cardiff City recently wrote to FC Nantes proposing a meeting to discuss issues surrounding the Emiliano Sala tragedy and planned transfer, in line with FIFA's request for our two clubs to come to a resolution directly.

"To date, Cardiff City has not received a response from FC Nantes."

Cardiff claim the deal to make Sala their record signing was not legally binding because conditions insisted upon by Nantes were not fulfilled.

Omnisport understands the player's Cardiff contract was rejected by the Premier League because it did not align with its rules regarding signing-on fees and Sala was unable sign the revised terms before his death.

The 28-year-old died when the light aircraft he was travelling on from Nantes to Cardiff crashed on January 21.

Nantes have made a claim against Cardiff City in connection with the transfer of Emiliano Sala to the Premier League club, FIFA has confirmed.

Sala became Cardiff's record signing when he joined the Premier League club for a reported £15million in January, but the striker died in a plane crash before making an appearance.

Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman has promised the club will be "honourable" over the deal, but also said they want to investigate "anomalies" in the transfer before making a payment.

Neil Warnock confirmed Cardiff had been given an extension for the first instalment of the transfer fee last Thursday, but Nantes have since taken the matter to the world's governing body.

A FIFA spokesperson told Omnisport: "We can confirm that we have received yesterday [Tuesday] evening a claim of a contractual nature from FC Nantes against Cardiff City in connection with the transfer of Emiliano Sala.

"We are looking into the matter and consequently we have no further comments at this stage."

Cardiff City have outlined "grave concerns" about pilot David Ibbotson's licence and the legality of the flight that carried Emiliano Sala following an interim Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) report.

Ibbotson and Sala were travelling from Nantes to Cardiff on board a Piper Malibu aircraft when it disappeared on January 21.

Sala's body was later recovered from the plane wreckage in the English Channel with the help of specialist contractors, he died from head and trunk injuries. Ibbotson's body has yet to be found.

The AAIB is investigating the circumstances surrounding the flight and released an interim report on Monday, detailing its focus.

A summary found that the plane, registered in the United States, could not be used for commercial purposes without prior permission. There was no evidence that permission had been sought, although it was unclear if the flight was alternatively being operated on a cost-sharing basis.

The AAIB also said Ibbotson's "logbook and licence were not recovered from the aircraft, and the ratings on his licences and their validity dates have not yet been established".

With a full report still set to follow, Cardiff responded with a statement.

"The club acknowledges the publication today by the AAIB of their special bulletin on the loss of the Piper Malibu aircraft carrying Emiliano Sala," it read.

"We have grave concerns that questions still remain over the validity of the pilot's licence and rating to undertake such a journey, as identified in the bulletin.

"We are also concerned to discover that the trip involved an aircraft which did not conform to either UK CAA or US FAA requirements for commercial activity and therefore may have been operating unlawfully.

"We welcome further investigation into the accident, which is required to determine precisely what happened, and to ensure changes are made so that this situation never happens again."

Cardiff signed striker Sala from Nantes in a club-record deal in January.

 

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock says the club have been given more time by Nantes to pay the first part of the transfer fee for Emiliano Sala.

Sala became Cardiff's record signing when he joined the Premier League club for a reported £15million last month, but the striker died in a plane crash before making an appearance.

Chairman Mehmet Dalman has promised the club will be "honourable" over the deal but said they want to investigate "anomalies" in the transfer before making a payment.

And Warnock sought to clear up the matter when he spoke to the media on Thursday ahead of Cardiff hosting Watford in the Premier League.

"I think there's been a lot of stuff written - and I know people have got jobs to do - and people are surmising things," he told reporters.

"I've known Mehmet Dalman and he'll do it in the right way. They've asked for an extension and Nantes have allowed it.

"I've got confidence in Mehmet to come to a conclusion. Certain things have been done which shouldn't have been done - certain things shouldn't have come out [in the media].

"All I can talk about is the football side. I'm convinced Mehmet will bring this to a conclusion."

Warnock attended Sala's funeral in Argentina last weekend and he said it was an emotional experience.

"They're a very close-knit community," he added. "Everybody came to the wake in the local village hall. I've never seen anything like it.

"People coming up to the mother, I don't know how she coped. They were talking about when he was four years old, seven years old. She was crying her eyes out, but I think she had a bit of closure.

"It was the right thing to do, but it was an experience to see the emotion from everyone. The press were there from every country."

Cardiff City have been making statements suggesting they will be trying to get out of their agreement to play Ligue 1 outfit Nantes, 15 million for Emiliano Sala, who died tragically in a plane accident on his way to his new club.
Do Cardiff have a point, or are they displaying bad form?

Mourners have paid their final respects to Emiliano Sala at a funeral for the late Cardiff City striker in his native Argentina.

A special memorial was held at a sports hall in the Santa Fe province where he grew up before the funeral took place later on Saturday.

The 28-year-old and pilot David Ibbotson were on board a Piper Malibu aircraft when it disappeared on January 21.

Sala was on his way to link up with Premier League side Cardiff after completing a club-record transfer move from Nantes two days earlier.

His body was last week recovered from the plane wreckage in the English Channel with the help of specialist contractors.

Bluebirds manager Neil Warnock and CEO Ken Choo were among the funeral attendees.

Daniel Ribero, president of Sala's first club San Martin de Progreso, described his death as "like a hard punch".

"On January 19 they confirmed his transfer to Cardiff and we were really happy for that," Ribero told Omnisport.

"And 48 hours later this tragedy happens. So we passed by a huge joy to an immense sorrow. As I said, [it feels] like a hard punch in the head."

Ribero said Sala's switch from Ligue 1 outfit Nantes to Cardiff had brought joy to those who knew him.

"That step ahead to Premier League, even if he was going to a club which was fighting against relegation, it could have been a step forward in his career to something bigger in Premier League, to a team which fights for something more important," he said.

"Then we all dreamed about him playing for the national team. Considering all these generational and technical changes [to the Argentina national team]... maybe if Emiliano had a good season in Premier League, he could have got his chance, and then we would have felt in heaven."

Warnock, meanwhile, said: "You know things like this don't happen very often, so you can't understand the emotions of the family. 

"The thing today is how united they all are, the village, not just the family, the whole village is really united. I think it really brings it home to you at this time, how important the family are.

"It's been very moving in there and it's been a difficult morning for everyone, but at least I think they've got some comfort now in the fact that at least they can have closure."

Chairman Mehmet Dalman has promised Cardiff City will be an "honourable club" with Nantes over the payment of a transfer fee for Emiliano Sala, once they have gathered further information.

Striker Sala was heading to Cardiff after completing a club-record move from the Ligue 1 side when the Piper Malibu aircraft carrying both the player and pilot David Ibbotson disappeared on January 21.

The 28-year-old's body was recovered with the help of specialist contractors from the plane wreckage in the English Channel last week.

Reports emerged in France last Wednesday that Nantes were demanding the first instalment of the €15million Cardiff had agreed to pay for the Argentine forward.

Dalman insists the Premier League club will pay up - but not before they have investigated what they believe to be "anomalies" in the deal.

"Of course, if we are contractually obliged to pay them then of course we will. We are an honourable club," he told BBC Sport Wales. 

"But if we are not - and there are some anomalies in that - then surely you would expect me as the chairman and guardian of this club's interests to look into that and hold our position? That is what we are doing. 

"We are still in the process of gathering information and that process will be ongoing. And when we reach a level where we have enough information, I am sure we will sit down with Nantes and move forward." 

Dalman also confirmed Nantes have threatened legal action, adding: "They have asked for what they believe is the money due to them and there is a process and they have initiated that process.

"What we are saying is that we are not in agreement with that process given the extraordinary events that have taken place and the tragic circumstances. We are not making any positive or negative statements. 

"We are simply saying, please understand there are a lot of questions which need to be answered and that is what we are trying to do."

Emiliano Sala's death was caused by injuries to his head and trunk, it has been confirmed.

Argentine striker Sala was on board a Piper Malibu aircraft that disappeared over the English Channel last month on its way from Nantes to Cardiff, after the 28-year-old had become the Premier League club's record signing.

Last week, a body was recovered from the wreckage of the plane and subsequently identified as that of Sala. Pilot David Ibbotson, the only other person on board, is yet to be found.

During Monday's hearing of the post-mortem examination, Dorset Coroner's Court concluded Sala's passing was caused by injuries to his head and trunk.

There will now be an interim investigation which is expected to be concluded within the next six to 12 months.

 

Nantes players and fans paid a series of tributes to the late Emiliano Sala before and during their Ligue 1 match against Nimes on Sunday.

Vahid Halihodzic's side were in action for the first time since the body recovered from a plane wreckage in the English Channel was confirmed as that of their former striker.

Sala, who last month signed for Premier League side Cardiff City, and pilot David Ibbotson were on board a Piper Malibu aircraft that disappeared on January 21.

Nantes confirmed they would retire the number nine shirt worn by the Argentine during his time at the club and players from the French outfit were involved in attaching his jersey to one of the goal nets at Stade de la Beaujoire.

Tickets to the match against Nimes were sold for a symbolic €9, with fans displaying a large tifo bearing the number prior to kick-off.

Supporters from both clubs also chanted Sala's name during the ninth minute of the game.

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