Cardiff 'extremely disappointed' with FIFA's Sala ruling, will appeal decision

Cardiff City will appeal FIFA’s ruling that the club must pay Nantes the €6-million first installment of Emiliano Sala’s transfer fee following the Argentine striker’s death in January.

In a statement made Wednesday, per the Guardian, Cardiff announced that they were “extremely disappointed” with FIFA’s decision, adding that the ruling was made “on a narrow aspect of the overall dispute.”

“There remains clear evidence that the transfer agreement was never completed in accordance with multiple contractual requirements which were requested by Nantes, thereby rendering it null and void,” Cardiff’s statement read.

Cardiff will now contest the ruling with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

On Monday, FIFA’s Players’ Status Committee instructed the Welsh side to settle a portion of the €17-million transfer agreement made between the two parties prior to Sala’s death. Cardiff previously argued that they weren’t required to pay any part of the fee since the player wasn’t registered with the club prior to his death in a plane crash on Jan. 21.

The Championship side unveiled Sala’s club-record move on Jan. 19. According to France’s Ligue de Football Professionel, Nantes then uploaded the paperwork on FIFA’s international transfer registration system. According to the Guardian, Sala’s international player certificate could then be processed by the Football Association of Wales.

Then, on Jan. 21, the Football Association of Wales confirmed receipt of Sala’s international player certificate at 5:30 p.m. UK time, cementing an international transfer between the clubs.

Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman said in February that Nantes had sent a €6-million invoice for the initial installment. Reports suggested that the Ligue 1 outfit was threatening legal action if the payment wasn’t received inside of a 10-day window.

Sala and pilot David Ibbotson crashed into the English Channel on Jan. 21 while attempting to fly from Nantes to Cardiff. The Argentine’s body was eventually recovered on Feb. 7. Ibbotson remains missing.

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