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FIFA orders Cardiff to pay £5.3m for Sala transfer

Flowers, messages and candles are placed in front of a giant portrait of Emilianio Sala
Emiliano Sala died in a plane crash following his move from Nantes to Cardiff.

FIFA has ordered Cardiff City to pay a transfer fee of £5.3 million (€6m) to Nantes for Emiliano Sala.

Sala died in a plane crash in January while travelling from Nantes to Cardiff after the two clubs agreed upon a transfer for the Argentine striker. After his death, the clubs failed to reach an agreement over the striker's outstanding £15m transfer fee so Nantes referred the case to FIFA in April.

- In search of Emiliano Sala

In a statement on Monday, FIFA said: "The FIFA Players' Status Committee established that Cardiff City FC must pay FC Nantes the sum of 6,000,000 euros, corresponding to the first instalment due in accordance with the transfer agreement."

A Cardiff City spokesperson 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 on our next steps."

Sources tell ESPN that Cardiff City will be seeking clarification over whether FIFA's ruling is one of multiple instalments or the final fee.

Nantes have yet to issue a response to FIFA's statement.

Back in April, Nantes called on FIFA to intervene after Cardiff City failed to make the first payment of the full transfer fee. FIFA originally gave both clubs until April 3 to submit their evidence but the deadline was extended after Cardiff wrote to Nantes in March in hopes of sorting the matter out internally. The clubs failed to reach an agreement so FIFA stepped in.

Nantes wanted the full transfer fee for Sala and sources said in April the French club were "extremely confident" of FIFA ruling in their favour. 

The first instalment of Sala's transfer fee was initially due on Feb. 20, but the deadline passed without Cardiff making the payment. 

Sources say Cardiff see the transfer as null and void as they believe certain criteria in the original contract were unfulfilled. Nantes, in turn, are adamant the transfer was completed and Sala was a Cardiff player when he died.

Both clubs have 10 days to request a copy of the grounds of the decision and decide whether they wish to appeal it to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.

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