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Court rejects Cardiff’s appeal on Sala transfer fee

26 Aug 2022 | 21:37 | Football

Emiliano Sala (Photo by Matthew Horwood / Getty Images)

Emiliano Sala (Photo by Matthew Horwood / Getty Images)

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Friday rejected Cardiff’s appeal to pay the first transfer fee for Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala, who died in a plane crash en route to his new club.

CAS has launched an appeal by the former English Premier League side against French club Nantes, after being asked to pay €6 million.

The proceedings concern only the first part of the total transfer fee of 17 million euros.

Piloted by pilot David Ibbotson, the small plane carrying the 28-year-old striker landed en route to Cardiff on January 21, 2019, two days after signing with the Bluebirds.

Lausanne-based CAS confirmed that Sala’s transfer was fully completed prior to his death.

While Nantes welcomed the ruling, Cardiff said it expected to appeal the decision and would not have to pay anything in the meantime.

In September 2019, the FIFA Player Qualifications Commission Office asked Cardiff to pay the first part of the transfer fee.

Cardiff appealed to CAS about this decision in November 2019. The parties requested a hearing in person, which could not be done before the end of 2021.

The hearings took place on March 3 and 4 this year.

“After careful consideration of all the evidence presented and all the arguments made by both clubs, the CAS panel finds that the transfer of the player from FC Nantes to Cardiff City FC has been completed. all,” CAS said in its decision.

“Since the conditions specified in the transfer contract were fulfilled prior to the player’s death, FC Nantes’ claim for the first transfer fee in the amount of six million euros has been upheld.”

The CAS committee also confirmed that FIFA did not account for Cardiff’s claim “that it did not pay any transfer fees to FC Nantes, because FC Nantes could be liable for the player’s death and such tort claim has been made against any obligation to pay for the transfer fee”.

Cardiff mulling appeal

Nantes welcomed the decision, saying that the court had ruled, as they have always argued, that the transfer was completed upon Sala’s death.

“As a result, CAS has asked Cardiff City to pay the transfer fee to FC Nantes and fined Cardiff a historically high amount, related to procedural costs and arbitration costs,” the Ligue 1 side said in a statement. declare.

“FC Nantes is delighted that this procedure – initiated by Cardiff City then delayed several times by Cardiff City – which was difficult for all those close to Emiliano, has finally come to an end.”

Cardiff said it was very disappointed with the result.

“The award does not resolve the important question of FC Nantes’ (and its agents’) responsibility for the accident, which will therefore have to be decided in another forum,” the Bluebirds said.

“Once the club’s lawyers have learned the reasons for the decision, we are expected to appeal and will not pay any money to FC Nantes in the meantime.

“If those appeals are unsuccessful and the club is responsible for paying the transfer fee, the club will take legal action against those responsible for the accident for damages. This will include FC Nantes and their agents.”