Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Argentine president joins calls for Sala search to resume

The search was called off on Thursday. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire/PA Images

Argentina's president has joined calls for rescuers to continue the search for the plane carrying Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala.

According to a statement from the premier's office, Mauricio Macri has told his foreign minister to issue formal requests to Britain and France for search efforts to be resumed.

President Mauricio Macri instructed foreign minister Jorge Faurie to make a formal request to the governments of Great Britain and France to ask them to maintain the search efforts.

– Statement from the president's office
The striker's family have visited tributes to Sala outside Cardiff City stadium. Credit: PA

The move adds to further pleas made by the striker's family, Lionel Messi, and Diego Maradona. More than 60,000 people have signed an online petition demanding the search for the missing aircraft continues.

A GoFundMe page raising money for the search has received donations from footballers including Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan. The page has already surpassed £60,000 in donations.

Meanwhile investigators have announced they will inspect whether the pilot who disappeared with Cardiff City's Emiliano Sala had the correct licence.

Pilot, David Ibbotson, was an experienced flyer who held a private pilot's licence and passed a medical exam as recently as November according to Federal Aviation Administration records.

A spokesman for the Air Accident Investigation Branch said it has opened a probe and confirmed they will investigate all aspects of the flight including licensing.

Credit: PA

Speaking about the decision to formally call off the search on Thursday, CI Air Search pilot Mike Tidd told ITV Channel there is "absolutely no chance of finding anybody alive".

Guernsey's harbour master Captain David Barker said the decision to end the search had been a "difficult" one.

Mr Barker acknowledged the Sala family are "not content" with the decision but he said he is "absolutely confident" no more could have been done.

More on this story