The authorities said earlier Thursday that the body was being transferred to British territory to identify itself after being recovered from a part of the wreck of the small plane that the player and pilot David Ebotson carried on Wednesday night, crashing into the sea of 21 January on the road From France to the Welsh capital Cardiff.
"The body that was taken to the port of Portland in southern England was officially recognized on Thursday," Dorset police said in a statement published on its website around 2,300 GMT on Thursday. "It is owned by professional footballer Emiliano Sala".
The families of Sala and Ebotson were informed of the news and will still be supported by specialists, according to the statement, emphasizing that the two families were "in this difficult time".
"Rest in peace, warrior"
Argentine football legend Diego Maradona was the most prominent commentator on news about his compatriot's body, and said in his account on Instagram: "I am saddened by this sad news, many of us have kept a glimmer of hope for you, Emiliano. "
The former Argentinian international striker Gabriel Batistuta wrote on Twitter: "What a sadness, it is the worst news imaginable.
The corpse was taken to the port of Portland on Thursday before being placed on a gray minibus that transported it to a mortuary where the owner was identified.
"This morning the body was taken to the port of Portland in Dorset, because this is the closest part of the British territory with the location of the plane," the police said in a statement. "My family and the pilot have reported the developments.
Argentine president Mauricio Macri expressed his condolences to the Sala family after the "painful news", adding that "we are at your side." The friend of Oscar Himo, the owner of a restaurant in the small town of Sala, said: "Since we have heard of the loss of the plane, Everything everyone talks about, everyone loved and appreciated."
Earlier this week, the father of Horacio Sala admitted in an interview with Fox Sports that "there is no hope" to find his son alive.
"In difficult conditions, the British Air Accident Investigation Office and its specialized partners have recovered the body that was seen earlier in the wreck," said the British Bureau of Investigation of Air Accidents on Wednesday evening.
The plane was only Sala and the pilot was Ebotson.
"Unfortunately, attempts to repair the wreck have failed," the statement said, emphasizing at the same time that video "s created for underwater debris would provide" valuable data for the research ".
The body was spotted on Monday in the underwater photograph of the wreck of the plane, which disappeared over the sea two weeks ago about 20 kilometers north of the island of Gornisi, the office said on Monday. "Tragically and in video images (from a remote vehicle), a passenger can be seen among the debris", he said in a statement.
"No one would have looked at the plane" if there had been no donations
Sala, 28, and pilot Abuttsson, 59, left Nantes, west of France, where the Argentine striker had played until then to travel to Cardiff, Wales to join his new club, Cardiff City. The plane was lost from radar screens about 20 kilometers north of Guernsey Island in the Channel Islands.
The authorities stopped the search for the aircraft before resuming the Sala family's initiative, which used special funds for a search funded by footballers, including Sala Lionel Messi, and many donors via the internet.
The donations exceeded 370,000 euros ($ 422,000).
"No one would have been looking for the plane," said David Mernes, a shipwreck researcher and owner of the ship's shipyard, told AFP. The discovery of two seat cushions on the French coast last week confirmed that the plane had crashed. .
Sala could not play for Cardiff City in the Premier League.
A source near Nantes said Wednesday that the last lawyers had asked for possible legal action to force Cardiff to pay his contract with striker Sala. According to the source, the first tranche of the deal, which was 17 million euros, which Cardiff City had to pay for the player, was not paid, while the transfer was recorded.