Cardiff threatened with three window transfer ban over Emiliano Sala deal

Cardiff have been threatened with a three-window transfer ban if they fail to pay Nantes for the transfer of Emiliano Sala.

The Bluebirds signed Argentine footballer Sala from the French club in January for a fee of £15million, but the striker died in a tragic crash when flying to England on January 21.

A subsequent legal tussle has ensued, with FIFA’s Players Status Committee (PSC) declaring the now-Championship side owe Nantes €6m (£5.2m) - the cost of the first instalment of the deal.

READ MORE: Two jailed for illegally accessing post-mortem Sala footage

Sala signed for Cardiff in January but died while flying to England.
Sala signed for Cardiff in January but died while flying to England. (AP Foto/Christophe Ena)

If they do not pay within 45 days, they could be liable to the transfer ban, which could last up to three transfer windows.

Neil Warnock’s side, though, are set to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in the next two weeks - which PA:Media add would suspend the countdown to the ban.

Cardiff have argued that the player was not officially their player when he died.

However, the PSC found that all the terms within the transfer agreement concluded between Cardiff and Nantes had been fulfilled.

A section of the judgement read: "The player's transfer from Nantes to Cardiff has to be considered as validly concluded between the parties. Hence, the player was a player of Cardiff."

The documents also show that Cardiff had sought a delay in the case until any other civil or criminal investigations into Sala's death had been completed, but the PSC ruled that the dispute before it was "of a purely contractual nature" and that "Cardiff had not been able to prove that the outcome of those local proceedings would be relevant to the outcome of the dispute pertaining to whether or not a transfer fee is due".

Tributes are placed outside the Cardiff City Stadium, Wales, for Emiliano Sala, Friday Feb. 8, 2019. Tributes are being paid across soccer to Argentine player Emiliano Sala, with the French league announcing a minute's applause before matches. French club Nantes says it will retire the No. 9 jersey worn by Sala before he was sold last month to Cardiff in the English Premier League. (Aaron Chown/PA via AP)
Caridff were ordered to pay the first instalment of the transfer fee for Sala. (Aaron Chown/PA via AP)
Failure to pay could see the Bluebirds given a three-window transfer ban
Failure to pay could see the Bluebirds given a three-window transfer ban. (Ben Birchall/PA via AP)

The full fee payable for Sala was 17m euros (just under GBP14.7m) according to the FIFA documents.

In addition to the first instalment which Cardiff had been ordered to pay were a second instalment of six million euros on January 1, 2020 and a final instalment of five million euros on January 1, 2021. There were also additional "promotion bonuses" due based on the Bluebirds retaining their Premier League status, which was the division they were playing in at the time.

The PSC determined that it was "not in a position to render a decision" on the second and third instalments at this point in time, because they are not yet due.

A report from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) which was published in August found that Sala had a high concentration of carbon monoxide in his bloodstream prior to the plane crash.

Representatives of Cardiff, including manager Neil Warnock, attended Sala's funeral in Argentina in February.

Additional by PA:Media.

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