The ex-girlfriend of missing footballer Emiliano Sala has made a shocking claim as to what was behind the 28-year-old's flight to Cardiff falling off the radar.

The Cardiff City footballer who is feared dead after his light aircraft was lost over the English Channel earlier this week, with recovery efforts unsuccessful to this point.

The Sun reported Sala's former partner Berenice Schkair, 27, posted a heartfelt message on social media, saying: "I want to wake up and all of this to be a lie. Please investigate because I cannot believe this accident.

"Don't suspend the search for bad weather when you only just found objects floating. I need to read that you have shown up.

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"I cannot believe they're suspending the search until tomorrow, they're losing time and aren't investigating."

Emiliano Sala had been travelling between Nantes, in France, to Cardiff when the Piper Malibu aircraft disappeared near the Channel Island of Alderney.

In a separate post, Schkair wrote: "Investigate the football mafia because I don't believe this was an accident."

It has also emerged that the Argentinian-born player sent a WhatsApp audio message, expressing fears that his plane "looks like it's about to fall apart" just moments before it disappeared.

Facebook post by Dave Ibbotson before the plane he was flying with Emiliano Sala on board disappeared. Image / via Daily Mail
Facebook post by Dave Ibbotson before the plane he was flying with Emiliano Sala on board disappeared. Image / via Daily Mail

The $29 million Cardiff City signing added, "Dad, how scared am I" in the recording, which is said to have been verified by Argentinian news website Ole.

The pilot of the aircraft was understood to be David Ibbotson, 60, from the village of Crowle near Scunthorpe.

Tributes have been left to new Cardiff City F.C signing Emiliano Sala in Cardiff. Photo / Getty Images
Tributes have been left to new Cardiff City F.C signing Emiliano Sala in Cardiff. Photo / Getty Images

Ibbotson said he was 'a bit rusty" with its landing system hours before the doomed flight, it was revealed by the Daily Mail.

He checked into Nantes Atlantique Airport shortly before take-off after admitting to a friend on Facebook he had approached the runway "on the high side" - but joked, tragically: "Better than on the low side".

Ibbotson is understood to be a part-time pilot who has also worked as a gas engineer and wedding DJ.

Supporters gather to pay tribute to Argentinian soccer player Emiliano Sala, in Nantes. Photo / AP
Supporters gather to pay tribute to Argentinian soccer player Emiliano Sala, in Nantes. Photo / AP

Cardiff City chairman Mehmet Dalman has revealed that the club had offered to put Sala on a commercial flight to bring him to the Welsh capital, but he had insisted on making his own arrangements.

Dalman said: "We spoke to the player and asked him if he wanted us to make arrangements for his flight which, quite frankly, would have been commercial. He declined and made his own arrangements.

"I can't tell you who arranged the flight because I don't know at this stage - but it certainly wasn't Cardiff City."

Emiliano Sala sent a WhatsApp message to his father Horacio Sala expressing his fear on the flight before it disappeared from radar. Photo / AP
Emiliano Sala sent a WhatsApp message to his father Horacio Sala expressing his fear on the flight before it disappeared from radar. Photo / AP

On Tuesday night, rescue sources confirmed possible plane parts and seats had been spotted in the water.

But police said there was a possibility that Sala and the pilot had managed to ditch in the sea and make their way into a raft.

One theory being explored is that the aircraft, which was built in 1984, had suffered engine problems after the propeller became iced up in the freezing conditions.

The pilot may have been attempting to reduce altitude into warmer air in order to resolve the problem when the accident occurred.

Guernsey Police confirmed "floating objects" had been seen, but said they were unlikely to be able to verify they belonged to a plane wreckage until later on Wednesday.

The striker, signed to help save struggling Cardiff from relegation, had flown out to France from Wales on a round trip on Monday to bid farewell to his former teammates at Ligue 1 team Nantes.

Ole

reported how he sent an audio message to a WhatsApp group in the final moments before the plane vanished.

"I'm here on a plane that looks like it's about to fall apart, and I'm going to Cardiff, crazy, tomorrow we already start, and in the afternoon we start training, boys, in my new team."

He later sent another message saying: "How are you guys, all good? If you do not have any more news from me in an hour and a half, I don't know if they need to send someone to find me... I am getting scared!"

The Piper Malibu light aircraft lost contact on the return leg near the Casquets lighthouse off Alderney at 8.30pm on Monday.

On Tuesday night Sala's family members and Cardiff City described being in states of shock.

Guernsey Police said rescue workers had launched three planes and one helicopter in a bid to find the missing plane.

The aircraft scanned 280 sq miles of a target area after reviewing tidal and weather information, while coastal areas around Alderney and off-lying rocks and islands were also searched.

Reports in France claimed Sala had told Nicolas Pallois, a teammate who drove him to the airport, that the trip "had been bumpy and he feared his safety for the journey back".