Cardiff have been ordered to pay Nantes 6million euros (GBP5.3million) in relation to the transfer of Emiliano Sala in January, world governing body FIFA has announced.
Argentinean striker Sala, who had agreed to join the Bluebirds for a reported £15m, was tragically killed in a plane crash while travelling between France and the UK.
The flight transporting the 28-year-old lost contact with air traffic control over the English channel on January 21.
Following an extensive search, the player’s body was recovered on February 7, however the body of Pilot David Ibbotson was never found.
Cardiff and Nantes failed to reach an agreement regarding payment for the forward and the matter was referred to FIFA.
The Bluebirds had argued that they were not liable to pay the transfer fee because Sala had not been registered with the club at the time of his death.
However, Football’s governing body released a statement ruling that the Championship club would need to pay what would have been the first instalment of Sala’s transfer fee.
“In a meeting held on 25 September 2019, 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.
“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.
“The findings of the decision were notified to the parties concerned today. Within a deadline of ten days, Cardiff City FC and FC Nantes can request a copy of the grounds of the decision, which can be appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne.”
It has also been reported that Cardiff will be required to pay the rest of the transfer fee in future, however, the club will appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Important developing news re FIFA ruling on Sala fee - Cardiff will be expected FULL £15million fee. Nantes only complained about first instalment but precedent set for future instalments. Cardiff will appeal to CAS.— Martyn Ziegler (@martynziegler) September 30, 2019
FIFA had hoped clubs would settle the issue between them.
According to Wales Online, a Cardiff City spokesperson said: “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."