Emiliano Sala: Fatal plane crash report to be published

Emiliano Sala died in a plane crash last year shortly after signing for Cardiff City. …

Emiliano Sala posing with a Cardiff City shirt on 20 January Image copyright BBC Sport
Image caption Emiliano Sala signed for Cardiff City just two days before he was killed in the plane crash

Investigators are set to reveal what caused a plane crash which killed footballer Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson.

The Piper Malibu plane carrying the 28-year-old striker from Nantes, France to his new club Cardiff City crashed into the English Channel on 21 January 2019.

The body of the Argentine player was recovered from the wreckage, but Mr Ibbotson’s body has never been found.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) will publish its report later.

It is expected to establish why and how the plane crashed, detailing its final moments and how carbon monoxide might have leaked into the cabin.

In August, the AAIB said potentially fatal levels of carbon monoxide had been found in Sala’s blood during toxicology tests.

Levels were such that they could have triggered a seizure, heart attack or unconsciousness.

Investigators concluded 59-year-old Mr Ibbotson, from Crowle, North Lincolnshire, a private pilot who was not licensed to carry paying passengers, would also have been affected by the gas.

Dorset Police, the coroner and the Civil Aviation Authority are also investigating the crash.

A man in his 60s from North Yorkshire was arrested in June on suspicion of manslaughter by an unlawful act in connection with the crash.

But on Wednesday it was confirmed he would face no further action.

Image copyright David Ibbotson
Image caption David Ibbotson’s body has not been found

A pre-inquest review is scheduled to be held at Bournemouth Coroner’s Court on Monday.

Cardiff City FC and FC Nantes remain in dispute over the £15m transfer fee for Sala.

Cardiff have refused to pay the fee, claiming the Argentine was not officially their player at the time of his death.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland is expected to rule this summer on whether the Bluebirds should pay Nantes £5.3m – the first tranche of Sala’s transfer fee – as ordered by football’s governing body Fifa in September.

In January, Cardiff passed a file to French prosecutors, asking them to investigate the arrangements for the flight and wider questions around the transfer.

Image copyright AAIB/PA
Image caption The AAIB released this photograph of the wreckage of the Piper Malibu