In this file photo shows Argentinian forward Emiliano Sala in Nantes, western France. AFP
Argentine soccer player Emiliano Sala and his pilot were exposed to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide before their small plane crashed in the English Channel, killing them both, British accident investigators said Wednesday.
A single-engine Piper Malibu aircraft carrying Sala and pilot David Ibbotson crashed near the Channel Island of Guernsey on Jan. 21. Sala, who had played for French club Nantes, was travelling to join his new team, Cardiff City, in Wales.
The body of the 28-year-old footballer was recovered from the wreckage two weeks later. Ibbotson's body has not been found.
The Air Accident Investigations Branch said toxicology tests found "a high saturation level of COHb (the combination product of carbon monoxide and haemoglobin)" in Sala's blood.
It said the level was 58%, above the 50% "generally considered to be potentially fatal" in a healthy individual. Carbon monoxide above that level can cause seizures, loss of consciousness and heart attacks, investigators said in an interim report.
The report did not say what role, if any, carbon monoxide exposure played in the crash. However, they said it was likely the 59-year-old British pilot would have been affected "to some extent."
"It is clear from the symptoms that exposure to CO can reduce or inhibit a pilot's ability to fly an aircraft depending on the level of that exposure," the investigators said.
The agency said it was still investigating and "a final report will be published in due course."
Daniel Machover, a lawyer for Sala's family, said the finding "raises many questions."
"The family and the public need to know how the carbon monoxide was able to enter the cabin," he said. "Future air safety rests on knowing as much as possible on this issue."
Machover urged authorities to salvage the plane from the sea bed, 68 metres (225 feet) below the surface, "without further delay."
European football's governing body said Ronaldo was facing charges of "improper conduct" after he mimicked Diego Simeone's crotch-grabbing 'cojones' gesture in last Tuesday's 3-0 win that sent Juventus through 3-2 on aggregate.
While Salah helped lead his club to a sixth European Cup triumph in June, a year on from an injury forcing him out of the final, he was powerless to stop the Pharaohs suffering humiliation on the international stage for the second time in 12 months.
Goalkeeper Rui Patricio was the hero for Wolves, saving three spot-kicks after their Asia Trophy final against Manchester City went to penalties on Saturday in Shanghai. Wolves won the exhibition tournament 3-2 on penalties after the game against the Premier League champions ended 0-0 after 90 minutes.
India’s one-day side have learned to be tougher when they lose the toss following the heartbreak of a World Cup semi-final defeat, said captain Virat Kohli said after winning the one-day series against Australia.
Andrew Landry squandered a six-shot back-nine lead on Sunday but finished with back-to-back birdies to win the PGA Tour American Express in La Quinta, California, by two shots.
England were held up by a last wicket stand of 99 between Keshav Maharaj (71) and Dane Paterson (39 not out) and it needed a direct-hit run-out by Sam Curran from mid-on to clinch the result shortly before lunch. South Africa were bowled out for 237.