FIFA brought in over Emiliano Sala transfer squabble

Posted at 7:53 AM, Feb 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-27 12:37:19-05

Emiliano Sala’s transfer from Nantes to Cardiff City is being investigated by FIFA after football’s governing body received a claim from the French club over the deal.

The Premier League club was reportedly due to pay the first of three installments of the £15 million ($19.3 million) fee this week.

Sala and pilot David Ibbotson died on January 21 after the plane they were traveling to Cardiff in crashed over the English Channel.

“We can confirm that we have received yesterday evening a claim from FC Nantes against Cardiff City in connection with the transfer of Emiliano Sala,” a FIFA spokesperson told CNN. “We are looking into the matter.”

Neither Nantes or Cardiff were immediately available for comment when contacted by CNN.

Earlier this month Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman told the BBC: “Of course, if we are contractually obliged to pay them then of course we will. We are an honorable club.

“But if we are not — and there are some anomalies in that — then surely you would expect me as the chairman and guardian of this club’s interests to look into that and hold our position. That is what we are doing.”

READ: Sala’s aircraft passed checks months before doomed flight

READ: Emiliano Sala’s funeral held in Argentina

The first payment was reportedly set for February 20 but both clubs agreed to extend the deadline by a week to allow the investigation into the crash to be completed.

According to findings published by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) on Monday, the aircraft passed a maintenance check months before the doomed flight.

The latest update confirmed the single-turbine plane was found “in three parts held together by electrical and flying control cables” and that it had undergone a scheduled maintenance in November 2018.

Findings also detailed how the plane changed altitudes a number of times before losing contact.

Sala’s body was flown back to Argentina on February 16 and a funeral was held in his hometown of Progreso.

Ibbotson is presumed dead, though his body has not yet been recovered.

Before joining Nantes, Sala played for Bordeaux, which is due 50% of any transfer fee because of a sell-on clause when they sold the Argentine forward in 2015.