French World Cup star Kylian Mbappe has donated an amount of $34,000 to a crowdfunding campaign aimed at funding a private search mission to find Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala, who went missing after the plane he was travelling in dropped off the radar over the English Channel, last week.
Mbappe’s Paris Saint-Germain teammate Adrien Rabiot and Marseille’s Dmitri Payet, as well as several other well known players from across Europe, have also made sizable donations to the campaign, which was set up by Sport Cover, the management agency that represents Sala.
Sala, who had just signed for Cardiff City, was flying from Nantes to the Welsh capital after saying farewell to his former teammates following his $19.3 million move to the Premier League club.
Rescue workers had been attempting to locate the plane since it disappeared from radar near the Channel Islands just before 8:30 p.m. local time last Monday. The plane had requested descent on passing Guernsey but disappeared from radar at about 2,300 feet.
But police finally called off the search at 15.15pm local time (10.15 a.m ET) Thursday, adding they had been unable to find any trace of the plane, pilot David Ibbotson or Sala
Guernsey harbourmaster Captain David Barker said any chances of survival were “extremely remote.”
Sala’s sister Romina, who arrived in Cardiff last week, had begged the authorities to reconsider its decision but to no avail. She has since been joined in the UK by other family members.
“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, told reporters Sunday.