Emiliano Sala's former manager has labelled the decision to end the search for the Argentinian striker and pilot David Ibbotson, "a total disgrace", after efforts to recover the pair involved in last Monday tragic plane disappearance were scaled back.
Sala, who scored a hat-trick as Vahid Halilhodžić celebrated his first win in charge of Les Canaris, in a 4-0 win over Toulouse in October, spent three and a half years in western France before sealing a move to Cardiff City, only last Saturday.
The Bosnian, and his players, have spent much of the week in the media spotlight, as hopes for a positive outcome for their ex-frontman faded.
Speaking at a press conference, as news emerged that the weekend game against St. Etienne has been put back to Wednesday, Halilhodžić let rip at Guernsey's search and rescue authorities, who have coordinated the search, after the plane went off radar close to the Channel Island at approximately half nine on Monday night.
For me it's a disgrace to stop like this. I don't think it's enormously deep not to be able to find it. It's an obligation these people have. You can't just stay like this. It's a total disgrace. You can't leave it this way. To stop like this is unbearable and unacceptable. Can you imagine the family?
The coach, a striker himself for Nantes during a goal-laden spell in the 1980's, was emotional as he described "the special relationship" that he enjoyed with the 28 year-old.
'We are proud that Emiliano has been with us'
Vahid Halilhodzic, manager of Emiliano Sala's former club Nantes, has met the media today ahead of their game at the weekendhttps://t.co/5ssrcRtdpL pic.twitter.com/7buN5gbywv
— WalesOnline 🏴 (@WalesOnline) January 25, 2019
The last thing he said to me was he regretted we could no longer work together and that remains engraved deep in my heart.
Sala's sister Romina arrived in Cardiff on Wednesday night, and faced the media on Thursday morning, pleading with coordinators to reverse their decision to abandon the search.
An online petition, has garnered nearly 65,000 signatures, demanding that the search resume immediately for the stricken pair.