Emiliano Sala ‘left alone like a dog’, says father

The late father of Emiliano Sala said the star footballer was left “like a dog” after the £15m transfer to Cardiff which ultimately led to his death.

Sala, 28, had just signed from French side Nantes when he disappeared with the pilot of the Piper Malibu private plane when it crashed in the English Channel north of Guernsey on January 21.

His body was recovered on February 6 following an extensive search but pilot David Ibbotson, 59, of Crowle, Lincolnshire, has not been located.

Wreckage of the plane carrying Emiliano Sala was found in the English Channel (PA Graphics)
Wreckage of the plane carrying Emiliano Sala was found in the English Channel (PA Graphics)

Horacio Sala died in April, but told BBC Wales before his death that all parties involved in the transfer – including clubs and agents – should have made more effort to look after the welfare of his son.

He said: “I always expected to find him alive, but when the news said the plane was in the sea, it became impossible.

“Why was it so hard for them to find something safe? Why couldn’t they?

“They left him alone, they left him alone like a dog. They abandoned him.”

A Cardiff City fan holds a flag in remembrance of Emiliano Sala (Simon Galloway/PA)
A Cardiff City fan holds a flag in remembrance of Emiliano Sala (Simon Galloway/PA)

His mother, Mercedes Taffarel, added: “It still hurts so much.

“I think he’s going to call me on the phone, but no. It’s terrible, a pain that I can’t explain.”

The family want someone to be held accountable for the death, the BBC reported.

An investigation into the plane crash which killed the Argentine footballer will focus on the validity of the pilot’s licence.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) named “regulatory requirements” as one of four areas in which further work will be carried out.

Its interim report noted that the type of licence held by the pilot meant he could only fly passengers in the European Union on a cost-sharing basis, rather than for commercial flights.

Pilots with his licence “must have a bona fide purpose for making the flight”, according to the AAIB.

- Press Association

More on this topic

Rafa Benitez to leave Newcastle when contract expires on June 30

Football rumours from the media

Fernando Torres announces retirement from football

Football rumours from the media

More in this Section

Roy Keane quits as Nottingham Forest assistant manager

European Games: Hopes high for Irish men's cycling team

Benkovic expects Maddison to go all the way despite Euro struggles

Dani Alves confirms Paris St Germain exit


Lifestyle

Sex advice: Help! I can't find her G-spot

Live at the Marquee: Silver-tongued troubadour Kris Kristofferson stands the test of time

The Big Five: Taking on the Reeks District in Kerry

Online Lives: Makeup artist and blogger Aisling Regan

More From The Irish Examiner