Nearly 10 months after the tragic loss of Argentine striker Emiliano Sala in a plane crash, as he travelled back to the UK to join up with new club Cardiff City, FIFA has finally put to rest the financial squabbling between his former side Nantes and new club Cardiff City.
The then-Premier League club had signed the 28-year-old in the January transfer window in a £15m deal but the player passed away before he could ever feature for the club.
Despite a widespread rallying of the football community, and visible outpouring of grief towards the player’s loss, back in the boardroom in the months since relations soured between the two clubs as disputes broke out in regards to the player’s transfer fee. Cardiff didn’t want to pay any money, while Nantes wanted the full amount.
Cardiff’s argument was that they were not liable for any of the transfer fee because Sala was not officially their player when he died. This was despite the signing having been ratified, the player announced and having visited Cardiff to complete the necessary paperwork.
The club refused to make interim payments, claiming the deal was not legally binding, but after repeated legal challenges have now been ordered by a FIFA ruling to pay the first £5.3m instalment to Nantes. The next instalment is understood to be due in January 2020.