Emiliano Sala: Missing Premier League footballer's plane found

The missing plane carrying Premier League footballer Emiliano Sala has been found.

David Mearns, a marine scientist who is directing the private search, confirmed the news on Twitter, saying a search boat located the wreckage on the seabed of the English Channel, near Guernsey on Sunday night (NZ time).

"Wreckage of the plane carrying Emiliano Sala and piloted by David Ibbotson was located early this morning by the FPV MORVEN," Mearns said on Twitter. 

"As agreed with the Air Accident Investigation Branch they moved the [Offshore supply ship] GEO OCEAN III over the position we provided them to visually identify the plane by remotely-operated vehicle." 
 
Sala was aboard a Piper Malibu aircraft as he flew from France to Wales, after signing a £19 million ($NZ36.6m) deal with Cardiff City from French Ligue 1 club Nantes.
 
The plane, flown by David Ibbotson, 59, disappeared off radar screens over the English Channel on January 22. 

An initial search for the plane was abandoned after four days, after nothing was found.

But a GoFundMe page was set up and a privately funded search began with two boats searching for the missing plane. 

No information about whether any bodies were in the plane was given. Two seat covers from the aircraft washed up last week on the coast of France.

A team from the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) have now moved into location at the site to recover the aircraft.

On Sunday, Cardiff paid tribute to Sala in their first home match since his disapearance. They claimed a much-needed 2-0 win over Bournemouth.

Fans were handed daffodils as they entered the Cardiff City Stadium and play was stopped in the 28th minute by a round of applause that swelled around the ground, as fans sang Sala's name.

Striker Bobby Reid scored both goals. He dedicated his first goal to the Argentinian by holding up a picture of the footballer to the fans. 

Newshub. 

Contact Newshub with your story tips:
news@newshub.co.nz