The football world was put on hault on January 21, 2019 when Argentina and Nantes lost one of their brightest star. A shock that came too many in the football world as many questions were still unanswered. A year after his death, Emiliano Sala’s family are calling on the authorities to speed up their work because there are still so many unanswered questions over what happened.
Emiliano Sala told friends he felt forced out of his former club Nantes just days before he died in a plane crash, according to reports.
A year ago today, Sala was killed when the Piper Malibu plane, en route to the Welsh capital, he was travelling on crashed in the English channel. Pilot David Ibbotson remains unaccounted for.
The Argentine, 28, had put pen to paper on a deal which would have made him the Bluebirds’ record signing at £15m.However, it appears that in the days leading up to Sala’s move to Cardiff, the player was vexed by how he was being treated by Nantes.
In a WhatsApp voice message, heard by the BBC, which was sent three days before the ultimately fatal flight, Sala believed he had not been properly informed over the proposed move to the then struggling Premier League outfit.
The message reveals that Sala had asked the French club to extend his contract four times, however his plea fell on deaf ears.
He also said that, at the time, he had not made his mind up about the move to Cardiff and was hoping that something “more interesting” would come along.
“They don’t respect me, they don’t value me,” Sala said of the French club in the voice note.
“I haven’t made a decision… I went to get some information from this club that wants me and wants to value me for what I’m worth… I’m going to be 29 this year so I have to think about it.”
The BBC also report that the priest at the church where he worshipped said Sala was treated like “a toy” by Nantes and had little input over where his future lay.
“I felt as if he was like a toy… [with] people deciding for him… and that was really quite difficult to live with,” said Father Guillaume le Floc’h, priest at the Church of St Peter and St Paul in Carquefou, just north of where Sala lived in Nantes.
“Football players can be victims… People would say they also have some benefits from that because they earn so much money… Sure but in fact they don’t have so many choices in life and that is not very respectful for their freedom.”
Sala, was involved in a plane crash off Alderney on 21 January 2019. He was a passenger aboard a Piper Malibu light aircraft flying from Nantes to Cardiff. An initial three-day search covered 1,700 square miles (4,400 km2) across the English Channel. Two subsequent private searches were launched, resulting in the discovery of the wreckage on 3 February; Sala’s body was recovered four days later.