PARIS • The father of Emiliano Sala, Horacio, has died at the age of 58 following a heart attack, the mayor of the village where he lived in Argentina's Santa Fe province said yesterday. His sudden death comes just three months after his son, Argentina striker Emiliano, was killed when the aircraft he was travelling in went down in the English Channel.
"Horacio's wife called me at five o'clock in the morning. The doctors were already there. When he left his home, he had already died," Progreso mayor Julio Mueller said. "He never managed to get over the death of Emi. We thought that after the discovery (of Sala's body) he would be able to close that circle."
Emiliano, 28, was on his way to Cardiff City after the English Premier League side had signed him for a club-record £15 million (S$26.4 million) from French Ligue 1 club Nantes.
The pilot of the aircraft he was in, David Ibbotson, also went missing in the Jan 21 tragedy in which the Piper Malibu crashed in the waters north of Guernsey. Sala's body was later recovered on Feb 6 after an extensive search, but Ibbotson, 59, is yet to be found.
In a statement, Cardiff said the club offered its "deepest condolences" to Horacio's friends and family. "They are very much in the thoughts of us all at this difficult time," a spokesman said, as reported by the BBC.