The hero of France’s FIFA World Cup title triumph last year, Kylian Mbappe has contributed $34,000 (₹ 25 lakh approximately) towards a crowdfunding campaign to finance the private search mission to find missing football player Emiliano Sala.
The campaign is set up by Sport Cover, the management company that represents Sala. Paris Saint-Germain star Adrien Rabiot and Marseille’s Dmitri Payet are among the leading football starts to support the cause.
The crowd funding initiative is launched after the British authorities had abandoned the search operations to find Sala, whose plane has gone missing after losing its contact with the air traffic control.
The fund has so far aggregagted $400,000 (₹ 2.85 crore).
Sala had recently signed up for Cardiff City and was flying from Nantes to the Welsh capital after bidding farewell to his former club and teammates. He was snapped up by the Premier League club for $19.3 million.
“The family still have some hope, they’re looking at this as a missing person, a missing plane, and until they are satisfied, that’s the mode that we’re in,” David Mearns, a spokesman for the Sala family, has said on Sunday. “This is a family that have come from Argentina with this huge shock out of nowhere and (is) struggling with what had happened, with very, very few answers about an unexplained loss.”
Cardiff manager Neil Warnock has admitted that Sala’s absence has been a huge loss for the club and that the club staff is disturbed by the disappearance. “It’s been a traumatic week and even now I can’t get my head around the situation. It’s probably hit me harder than anyone else as I’ve met the lad and talked to him for the last six to eight weeks,” Warnock said.
Sala, in his last message, said that the plane was shaking and that it could break into pieces.
“If in an hour and a half you don’t have news from me … I don’t know if they would send someone to look for me because they won’t find me, but you will know. Dude, I’m so scared,” the recorded message said.
Devastated fans have been paying their tribute to the promising footballer, with many lining outside the Cardiff Citystadium.