The body recovered from the wreckage of a crashed plane is that of Cardiff City player Emiliano Sala, Dorset Police have said.
Sala, 28, and pilot David Ibbotson have been missing since the plane they were flying in lost contact with Air Traffic Control on Monday, January 21.
A police statement issued late on Thursday read: “The body brought to Portland Port today, Thursday 7 February 2019, has been formally identified by HM Coroner for Dorset as that of professional footballer Emiliano Sala.
“The families of Mr Sala and the pilot David Ibbotson have been updated with this news and will continue to be supported by specially-trained family liaison officers. Our thoughts remain with them at this difficult time.
“HM Coroner will continue to investigate the circumstances of this death supported by Dorset Police.”
Argentine striker Sala’s transfer to Cardiff from Nantes had been announced just two days before the plane disappeared as it carried him back to the Welsh capital.
Following reports of a dispute between the two clubs this week, Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman confirmed the Premier League outfit was yet to pay the first instalment of Sala’s transfer fee.
“We must show respect to the family. There is a process for recovering the plane,” he said, prior to Sala’s body being identified.
“[We will pay] when we think it’s the right time to do it. I don’t think Cardiff said we were not going to pay.”