Body taken from wreckage identified as Emiliano Sala

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The body found in the wreckage of a plane that crashed in the English Channel was identified as missing Argentine soccer star Emiliano Sala on Thursday.

It was recovered on Wednesday and brought to the Isle of Portland in southern England on board the Geo Ocean III offshore supply ship on Thursday for formal identification by coroners, who investigate violent deaths in Britain.

Police today confirmed that the body pulled from the wreckage of Emiliano Sala's plane was that of the missing footballer.

In a statement tonight police said they "will continue to be supported by specially-trained family liaison officers".

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The remains of the plane were discovered on Sunday evening - nearly two weeks after it disappeared as it travelled from Nantes in France to Cardiff.

Argentine newspaper Clarin last month published a voice message that Sala, who had played in France since 2012 and scored 12 goals for Nantes this season, apparently sent to friends while in the air.

The aircraft remains 67 metres underwater 21 miles off the coast of Guernsey in the English Channel as poor weather conditions stopped efforts to recover it.

But it added, "The weather forecast is poor for the foreseeable future and so the hard decision was taken to bring the overall operation to a close".

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The Air Accidents Investigations Branch (AAIB) said the operation had been carried out "as dignified a way as possible" and the men's families were kept updated throughout.

Police said investigations into the cause of the crash are ongoing.

He was preparing to join his new club, Cardiff City, following their record-breaking £15 million acquisition from FC Nantes.

Sky sources say Nantes have now started legal action against Cardiff, asking for the first payment of the transfer fee, which is understood to be more than £5m.

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Mr Mearns - known as the "Shipwreck Hunter" - and his team located the aircraft within two hours of commencing their search. Cardiff are said to be "surprised" with the timing of the demand so soon after the tragedy.