The Latest: Sala's father 'beginning to think the worst'

(AP Photo/Claude Paris, File)

LONDON (AP) The Latest on the search for small passenger plane that disappeared over the English Channel with Argentine soccer player Emiliano Sala on board (all times local):

8:55 p.m.

The father of missing Argentine soccer player Emiliano Sala says he is "beginning to think the worst" after the small passenger plane that was carrying his son from Nantes to Cardiff disappeared near the Channel Islands.

Horacio Sala addressed media gathered outside the family home in Progreso, Argentina, on Tuesday after police called off the search for survivors until Wednesday morning.

He said: "I don't know what to think. ... The hours pass and I am just beginning to think the worst."

He added: "We were in touch on Sunday. He was so happy that he was going there, to an even bigger club."

Emiliano Sala recently signed for Premier League club Cardiff from Nantes and was traveling to his new club when the plane disappeared.

5:10 p.m.

Police searching for the small passenger plane that disappeared near the Channel Islands say "a number of floating objects have been seen in the water."

Guernsey police say they have been unable to confirm whether any of the objects are from the missing plane, and that they have "found no signs of those on board."

Authorities have already said Argentine soccer player Emiliano Sala, who had been traveling from Nantes to Cardiff, was on board the aircraft.

Guernsey police say if any passengers landed in the water "the chances of survival are at this stage, unfortunately, slim."

The search operation has been suspended, and will resume on Wednesday.

3:30 p.m.

French club Nantes says fans will gather in the heart of the city in support of Emiliano Sala.

Using the hashtag (hash)PrayForSala, Nantes says a yellow tulip will be laid at the foot of the fountain located on the Royal Square.

Sala was aboard a small passenger plane that disappeared off the coast of the island of Guernsey.

Club president Waldemar Kita says "I'm thinking about his friends, his family. There is still hope, he is a fighter."

2:45 p.m.

A friend of Emiliano Sala's says the Argentine soccer player is seen as a "hero" by the residents of his hometown.

Sala, who was aboard a small passenger plane that disappeared off the coast of the island of Guernsey, began his career in Progreso, about 300 miles (500 kilometers) northwest of Buenos Aires.

Martin Molteni says "he always worked hard, with a lot of sacrifice. We keep our hope and faith that everything's well."

Molteni says that Sala made many friends at Nantes and "many had asked him to stay" at the club.

He says "he told us that the move to (Cardiff) would be a challenge and way for him to continue to grow."

2:40 p.m.

The president of the Argentine soccer club where Emiliano Sala began his career says he is keeping up hope he will be found alive.

Sala was aboard a small passenger plane that disappeared off the coast of the island of Guernsey.

San Martin de Progreso president Daniel Ribero says "I hope that this is a nightmare and that it has a happy ending."

Sala got his start at San Martin de Progreso at the age of 15. The club is based in the town of Progreso, about 300 miles (500 kilometers) northwest of Buenos Aires.

Ribero says "we're a small town of 3,000 people and we're all totally shocked."

2:30 p.m.

Premier League club Cardiff says it is "very distressed" about the fate of Emiliano Sala after the plane bringing him to Wales disappeared from radar.

Cardiff chief executive Ken Choo says Tuesday was due to be the Argentine's first day with the team.

A practice session was called off, and Choo says the "thoughts of the squad, management staff and the entire club with Emiliano and the pilot."

Two people were on board the light aircraft which disappeared.

Choo says "our owner, Tan Sri Vincent Tan, and chairman, Mehmet Dalman, are all very distressed about the situation" and adds "we continue to pray for positive news."

2 p.m.

The father of Argentine soccer player Emiliano Sala says he found out about the disappearance of his son through local television news.

Horacio Sala told Argentina's C5N TV channel "I don't know anything. I can't believe it. I'm desperate."

He adds "the signing (for Cardiff) had been such a joy for him and for everyone, for our town. He's a humble boy."

Horacio Sala also says that no one from French club Nantes has reached out to the family.

He says "I don't have any information on the journey. The only thing I know is that it was a small plane," adding "they're saying that the plane lost control in the channel. I don't know what could've happened. I'm speechless."

12:30 p.m.

An official involved in the search for a plane with Argentine soccer player Emiliano Sala on board says he is not expecting any survivors to be found.

The light aircraft disappeared from radar Monday night over the English Channel as it made the journey from the French city of Nantes to Wales, where Sala had just signed to play for Premier League club Cardiff.

Channel Islands Airsearch chief officer John Fitzgerald tells The Associated Press he is "not expecting anyone to be alive. I don't think the coastguard are either. We just don't know how it disappeared."

In a telephone interview, Fitzgerald adds that the plane "just completely vanished. There was no radio conversation."

10:30 a.m.

The French civil aviation authority says Argentine soccer player Emiliano Sala was aboard a small passenger plane that went missing off the coast of the island of Guernsey.

French and British maritime authorities are searching the English Channel for the plane.

Guernsey police say the flight left Monday evening from Nantes en route to Wales with two people aboard. Police say the search resumed Tuesday morning and that no trace has currently been found. The French regional maritime authority sent a search helicopter.

The 28-year-old Sala, who has been playing for French club Nantes, signed for Premier League team Cardiff on Friday for a club record fee.

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Updated January 22, 2019