FIFA have ruled Cardiff owe Nantes £5.3million as the ‘first instalment’ of the transfer fee for Emiliano Sala, the striker who was killed in a plane crash. Photo: Stephane Mahe/Reuters

FIFA have ruled Cardiff owe Nantes £5.3million as the ‘first instalment’ of the transfer fee for Emiliano Sala, the striker who was killed in a plane crash last January.

However, the wording of the decision has caused confusion and could be appealed.

The FIFA Players’ Status Committee met last week in a bid to resolve a lengthy dispute between the clubs regarding the £15m transfer fee for Sala, who died shortly after being announced as Cardiff’s record signing.

Yesterday, Cardiff were told they owe €6million (£5.32m), which ‘corresponds to the first instalment currently due in accordance with the contract’.

Cardiff immediately sought clarification from FIFA on the meaning of the statement and have 10 days to decide whether or not to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. It is unclear whether accepting the ruling would effectively set a precedent for Nantes to chase further instalments. It has been reported that a second instalment is due in January 2020. Cardiff have so far refused to make payments for the 28-year-old’s transfer, saying the deal was not legally binding because he had not signed the latest version of the contract, meaning he was not a registered Premier League player.

A spokesman for Cardiff 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.’

A statement issued by Nantes’ lawyers, Jerome Marsaudon and Louis-Marie Absil, read: ‘We welcome this decision by Fifa. Cardiff must respect its commitments and the rules of sports law. Beyond the human tragedy, Fifa has reminded that the legal security of the commitments made by clubs must be respected.’

Daily Mail