Cardiff must pay Nantes £5.3m for Emiliano Sala, says FIFA
By Sky Sports News
Last Updated: 01/10/19 6:31am
Cardiff have been ordered by FIFA to pay £5.3m (€6m) to Nantes for the transfer of Emiliano Sala.
The sum corresponds to the first instalment that Cardiff were due to pay the Ligue 1 club in January, as per the deal agreed for the transfer of the Argentinian striker.
Sala had signed for Cardiff for a £15m fee but died in a plane crash in the English Channel on January 21 as he was flying to the Welsh capital to start training with the then-Premier League side.
Cardiff had refused to pay the fee for Sala as they believed the contract signed was "not legally binding", and Nantes subsequently complained to world football's governing body in February.
Following a meeting in Zurich last Wednesday, FIFA notified both clubs of its findings on Monday and stated they will have the opportunity to appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne.
"The FIFA Players' Status Committee established that Cardiff City FC must pay FC Nantes the sum of EUR 6,000,000, corresponding to the first instalment due in accordance with the transfer agreement concluded between the parties on 19 January 2019 for the transfer of the late Emiliano Sala from FC Nantes to Cardiff City FC," a FIFA statement read.
"The FIFA Players' Status Committee, which never lost sight of the specific and unique circumstances of this tragic situation during its deliberations on the dispute at stake, refrained from imposing procedural costs on the parties."
Cardiff issued a statement in response which read: "Cardiff City FC acknowledges the decision announced today by FIFA's Players Status Committee regarding the transfer of Emiliano Sala.
"We will be seeking further clarification from FIFA on the exact meaning of their statement in order to make an informed decision on our next steps."
It has been reported Cardiff will also be liable for the other instalments agreed between the clubs, but FIFA stated it could not comment on this for "confidentiality reasons".
Sky Sports News reporter Rebecca Williams...
For many months there has been a bitter war of words to decide who will foot the bill for the transfer fee of Argentinian striker, Emiliano Sala.
He was Cardiff's record signing and the top goalscorer for Nantes for three consecutive seasons.
After his tragic death in January there was an outpouring of grief on both sides of the Channel. I was in Nantes for several days after the news broke. Locals would tell me stories of a young man, liked by all, who would make conversation with them in the supermarket or convenience store.
Not only was he a man loved dearly by his family, but a man who had captured the hearts of his team-mates and fans, many of whom were in floods of tears as they hung yellow scarves and flowers to the icy railings outside Nantes' training ground.
But while many were grieving over Sala's death, behind the scenes lawyers were battling in boardrooms over who should cover his transfer fee.
It is my understanding that the original agreement was that Cardiff would pay in three instalments, over a three-year period, and that Nantes only complained to FIFA about not receiving the first lump sum.
Therefore, unless Cardiff appeal, it seems likely that the club will be expected to cover the entire transfer fee in due course. They insist they are seeking clarification over the exact meaning of FIFA's decision, before deciding whether to appeal.
So this legal battle could potentially be drawn out even further. Meanwhile, Sala's family await his inquest.