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Emiliano Sala's family demand ‘full truth’ in heartbreaking plea two years on from death

FOOTBALL By Mirror | January 21st 2021
In this Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019, file photo, a Nantes soccer team supporters stops by a poster of Argentinian player Emiliano Sala and reading "Let's keep hope" outside La Beaujoire stadium before the French soccer League One match Nantes against Saint-Etienne, in Nantes, western France. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)

The family of tragic Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala have released a heartbreaking statement on the second anniversary of the star's death.

Argentine Sala was killed when the small aircraft carrying him from Nantes to Cardiff crashed into the English Channel near Alderney on January 21 2019.

His body was retrieved from the seabed but that of pilot Dave Ibbotson, 59, nor the plane's wreckage, was ever recovered.

The 28-year-old had signed for the Bluebirds - then a Premier League club - from Nantes and had briefly returned to France to say his goodbyes.

In October last year, David Henderson, 66, pleaded not guilty to two criminal charges related to Sala's death brought by the Civil Aviation Authority

Henderson was charged with endangering the safety of an aircraft and attempting to discharge a passenger without valid permission our authorisation.

He is alleged to have arranged the flight.

This file photo taken on January 13, 2019 shows Nantes' Argentinian forward Emiliano Sala during the French L1 football match between Nantes and Rennes at La Beaujoire stadium in Nantes. - Cardiff striker Emiliano Sala was on board of a missing plane that vanished from radar off Alderney in the Channel Islands according to French police sources on January 22, 2019. (Photo by LOIC VENANCE / AFP)

Sala's family want an inquest into his death, but it has been postponed until the culmination of Henderson's trial, due to start on October 18 this year.

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A family statement said: "It is a tragedy that two years have passed since Emiliano’s death and we still do not know exactly how and why he died. An inquest is the only way to establish the full truth.

"I very much hope that the Dorset Coroner will now set a date for the inquest to start immediately after David Henderson's trial, so that we do not have to endure another bleak anniversary with no answers.”

Cardiff City, for whom Sala never made an appearance, backed the family's calls.

In a statement, they said: "Everyone involved at Cardiff City Football Club sends their deepest sympathy, again, to the families of Emiliano Sala and David Ibbotson on this the second anniversary of their tragic death.

"They will always be in our thoughts and prayers.

"The Club continues to work closely with Emiliano’s family towards creating the Emiliano Sala Memorial Trust.

"The Club recently obtained tax clearance for the Trust which has paved the way for the appointment of trustees, nominated by Emiliano’s family.

"Work on this has moved at pace since the family appointed new lawyers in Buenos Aires a few months ago and it may be concluded this month or next.

"Once the Trust is launched, the Club will spearhead an international campaign for donations from the football community, and elsewhere. It has already appointed a company to lead this exercise.

"The Club endorses the call by the Sala family for the inquest to begin as soon as possible after the conclusion of David Henderson’s trial.

"The Club has spoken to all relevant bodies including FIFA, the FA, and the police both in England and France to encourage them to work as quickly as possible."

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