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Football Extras: Plane cushions found in search for missing soccer player Sala

Last updated on: January 30, 2019 20:28 IST

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IMAGE: Tributes for newly-signed Cardiff City soccer player Emiliano Sala. Photograph: Stephane Mahe/Reuters

Investigators searching for a lost plane carrying Premier League soccer player Emiliano Sala said on Wednesday an underwater search would begin after they found two seat cushions on the French coast that likely belonged to the aircraft.

The 28-year-old Argentina-born forward had been en route from Nantes in western France with pilot David Ibbotson to make his debut for Welsh team Cardiff City when the plane disappeared over the English Channel.


Britain's Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said part of a seat cushion had been found on a beach near Surtainville on the northern French coast. A second cushion was found in the same area later that same day.

"From a preliminary examination, we have concluded that it is likely that the cushions are from the missing aircraft," the AAIB said in a statement.

Investigators said they now planned to launch an underwater seabed search for aircraft wreckage. Due to weather conditions, the search would start at the end of this weekend and take up to three days.

"Based on a detailed assessment of the flight path and last known radar position, we have now identified a priority search area of approximately four square nautical miles," they said.

Chencho's goal helps BFC pull-off 2-1 win over NEUFC

Chencho Gyeltshen's timely goal helped Bengaluru FC prevail over North East United 2-1 in an enthralling Indian Super League match at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium.

Chencho smashed the second goal for Bengaluru in 71st minute after United striker Federico Gallego got the equaliser in the 60th minute.

With this win, Bengaluru FC pipped Mumbai City and perched themselves on top of the points table, with 30 points from 13 matches.

Mumbai are placed second with 27 points in as many matches. The North East United are placed third with 23 points from 14 matches.

Uruguayan's Gallego brought the equaliser for visitors in 60th minute after he pierced the right footer through Gurpreet Singh Sandhu's legs.

Before he could finish it off, Gallego ran through Juanan and Rahul Bheke to get the ball.

Gallego was nearly involved in another equaliser in 93rd minute after he passed the ball to Mascia, who swivelled to hit on the half volley with his knee, but Gurpreet Singh Sandhu dived to fend off the danger.

Man City teenager Matondo moves to Schalke

Manchester City winger Rabbi Matondo has become the latest British youngster to sign for an overseas club after joining German side Schalke 04 on a four-year contract on Wednesday.

The 18-year-old's decision to leave the English champions is the latest example of a growing trend of young British talent opting to go abroad in search of greater playing opportunities.

No financial details of the deal were disclosed but British media reported that Schalke paid 10 million pounds ($13.07 million) to sign Matondo, who has one international cap for Wales but has never made a senior appearance for City.

"A huge British talent has signed for the Royal Blues," Schalke said in a statement announcing the deal on their website. "The 18-year-old has been given a four-year contract, which will expire on June 30th, 2023."

Germany has emerged as the destination of choice for young British players who find it hard to break into the first team at the Premier League's elite clubs, following midfielder Jadon Sancho's successful switch to Borussia Dortmund in 2017.

Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi had a transfer request turned down by his club this week as he attempted to push through a move to German giants Bayern Munich.

AFC to probe sandal throwing at Asian Cup semi-final

The Asian Football Confederation has launched an investigation into the throwing of objects, including a barrage of sandals, at Qatar players during Tuesday's Asian Cup semi-final against United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi.

Three Qatar players were showered with footwear and drinks bottles thrown by a hostile crowd while celebrating goals in the 4-0 thrashing of hosts UAE, which secured a place in the final against Japan.

"The AFC is conducting a thorough investigation into events at the Asian Cup UAE 2019 semi-final between the United Arab Emirates and Qatar at Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi," an AFC spokesman said on Wednesday.

"Once that investigation has been completed the AFC will decide on the appropriate next steps."

Throwing a shoe at someone is considered a major insult in the Arab world, where it is rude to sit with the sole of a shoe pointing at another person.

The incidents followed the booing of the visitors' national anthem and were an embarrassment for the host nation, which with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain launched a diplomatic and trade boycott of Qatar in 2017.

The four nations accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism, which the Gulf emirate -- host nation for the 2022 World Cup -- denies.

With no Qatar fans travelling to the match because of the boycott, local sports officials had ensured a full house for the fixture by giving away thousands of free tickets to Emiratis.

Neither the UAE's General Sport Authority nor the local organising committee responded to requests for comment on Tuesday.

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