Man, 64, arrested over death of footballer Emiliano Sala

19 June 2019, 18:24 | Updated: 19 June 2019, 19:49

A 64-year-old man has been arrested over the death of Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala earlier this year.

Police said he was from North Yorkshire and was detained on suspicion of manslaughter by an unlawful act.

Sala, a 28-year-old Argentine striker, was killed when a private plane taking him from France to the UK crashed in the English Channel north of Guernsey on 21 January.

Around two weeks later, the aircraft wreckage was found with his body still inside and it was then removed from the plane and brought to Portland in Dorset.

The small plane was being flown by David Ibbotson, who had lost contact with air traffic control.

The pilot also died in the crash but his body has not been found.

Just days earlier, Sala had signed for Cardiff in a £15m move from French side Nantes, making him the Welsh club's most expensive player subject to international clearance.

He was being flown by Mr Ibbotson from western France to Wales to join the-then Premier League side when the Piper Malibu aircraft disappeared.

So far, Cardiff have refused to pay the first £5m instalment of the transfer free, arguing the contract was not legally binding.

Detective Inspector Simon Huxter, of Dorset Police, said: "We have carried out a wide-ranging investigation into the circumstances of the death of Mr Sala and continue to work with partner agencies including the Civil Aviation Authority.

"As part of this investigation we have to consider whether there is any evidence of any suspected criminality.

"And as a result of our inquiries we have today, Wednesday June 19 2019, arrested a 64-year-old man from the North
Yorkshire area on suspicion of manslaughter by an unlawful act.

"He is assisting with our inquiries and has been released from custody under investigation."