Emiliano Sala's family reach €300k target to resume search

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Search and recovery efforts had been called off on Thursday but the funds now mean that a private operation can be mounted

The family of missing footballer Emiliano Sala have hit the required target on a fundraiser with the intention of resuming the search for the Cardiff City player.

Search and recovery efforts were called off on Thursday evening , three days after the plane carrying the Argentine from former club Nantes to his new side  disappeared from radar over the English Channel .

A target of €300,000 (£260k/$342k) has been met on a GoFundMe page set up to enable the family of the forward to resume a private search for him and pilot David Ibbotson.

As of Sunday January 27, the total raised surpassed €320,000, having met the target within the two days since it was posted.

The funds have gone towards two watercraft that began operations on Saturday.

Efforts to find the missing plane, a PA-46-310P Malibu aircraft, were conducted for just under 72 hours before they were concluded earlier this week.

Guernsey harbourmaster David Barker had described the decision to put an end to operations as difficult, but citied that he was sure no more could have been done, adding that chances of survival were likely “extremely remote”.

There have been calls from several major figures both inside and outside of the football community for the search to be resumed.

Barcelona star Lionel Messi and president of Argentina Mauricio Macri were among those speaking out in support of Sala’s family.

Numerous players, including Adrien Rabiot, Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan and Leicester City winger Demarai Gray, contributed to the GoFundMe page.

Sala moved to France in 2010 to join the youth set-up at Bordeaux and has, to date, played his full professional career in the country.

He joined Nantes in 2015 following stints with Orleans, Niort and Caen, and made 132 appearances for the club, scoring 48 goals.

He had been in excellent form for them in Ligue 1 this season, scoring 13 goals across all competitions.

Sala became Cardiff’s record signing when he was acquired by Neil Warnock’s side for £15m ($19.8m) earlier this month.

He previously turned down a bid from the Chinese Super League in order to join the Premier League club.

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