Cardiff City have lost their appeal against a FIFA ruling to pay the first instalment of Emiliano Sala’s £15million transfer from Nantes.
The Argentine striker died in a plane crash in January 2019 while travelling across the English channel to the Welsh side and a legal battle has ensued over the outstanding transfer fees owed.
Cardiff have argued that they were not liable for the fee because the 28-year-old was not officially their player and refused to make any interim payments as they stated the deal was not legally binding.
FIFA disagreed, however, and the appeal was heard by a three-man Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) panel earlier this year, who rejected the appeal.
In a statement, Cardiff expressed disappointment in the ruling and confirmed their intention to lodge an appeal – adding that they will take their own legal action should they fail.
“Cardiff City is disappointed by the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport,” Friday’s statement read.
“The award fails to decide the crucial question of FC Nantes’ (and its agents’) liability for the crash, which will therefore have to be decided in another forum.
“Once the club’s lawyers have digested the reasons for the decision we expect to appeal and will not be making any payments to FC Nantes in the meanwhile.
“If those appeals are unsuccessful and the club is liable to pay the transfer fee, the club will take legal action against those responsible for the crash for damages to recover its losses. This will include FC Nantes, and its agents.
“All our thoughts must continue to be with Emiliano’s family, who are now supported financially by the trust the club put in place for them.”
On the ruling, CAS said: “After taking into due consideration all the evidence produced and all the arguments put forward by both clubs, the Cas panel found the player’s transfer from FC Nantes to Cardiff City FC to have been completed.
“And because the conditions set out in the transfer agreement were fulfilled prior to the player’s death, FC Nantes’ claim for the first instalment of the transfer fee in the amount of 6m euros was upheld.”