Emiliano Sala: No plans to change Cardiff fixtures with striker missing

Cardiff City signed the 28-year-old from French club Nantes

Cardiff City chairman Mehmet Dalman says there are no plans to rearrange their match at Arsenal as the search continues for a missing aircraft carrying their striker Emiliano Sala.

The Argentine, 28, was one of two people on board the plane, which lost contact off Alderney in the Channel Islands on Monday night.

Cardiff's next Premier League game is away at Arsenal on Tuesday, 29 January.

Dalman said: "I would be very surprised if there's any change to the schedule."

Five aircraft and two lifeboats scoured more than 1,000 square miles for traces of the Piper Malibu plane on Tuesday. The search was suspended overnight and continued from first light on Wednesday.

Guernsey Police was not able to confirm if floating objects seen belonged to the aircraft and warned that chances of passenger survival were "slim".

Sala was heading to Cardiff after signing for the Bluebirds from French club Nantes in a £15m deal.

The striker had been in south Wales on Friday and Saturday to complete his transfer and while at Cardiff City Stadium Sala met the club's manager, Neil Warnock, and chief executive, Ken Choo.

Dalman said he, Warnock, Choo and Cardiff's owner Vincent Tan have all been "affected" by the news of Sala's disappearance.

"Neil is human and he's as affected as we all are," Dalman told BBC Radio Wales' Good Morning Wales.

"He's in the same position as we all are, very upset. It has affected the club enormously. It's a distressing time.

"This was a big decision for this club and we were in the process of negotiating something which would have been a game-changer for the club.

"Vincent is emotional, as we all are."

Earlier this season, Cardiff hosted Leicester City in the Foxes' first match since the death of their owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four other people in a helicopter crash.

The Bluebirds were praised for their sensitivity on that occasion, with the club paying for Leicester fans' food and drink at the game, while Cardiff's supporters shared a specially-made banner with their Leicester counterparts.

Now, following the news regarding Sala, it is Cardiff receiving the well-wishes of the football community.

"The reaction we've had from the football world - and outside the football world - has been really overwhelming," said Dalman.

"I've had emails and text messages from right across the world, from politicians to supporters. The family of football has a way of coming together at times of tragedy.

"I even had a message from a prime minister of a country to wish us well."

Top Stories