Cardiff City face a transfer ban for a maximum of up to three full windows if they refuse to pay Nantes the first €6m instalment owed for the transfer of the late Emiliano Sala, who sadly died in a plane crash in January en-route to linking up with the then Premier League club.

Cardiff unveiled Sala when the signing was agreed. The player then briefly then returned to France, before boarding a small aircraft to link up properly with his new team.

Emiliano Sala,Presnel Kimpembe

Tragically, Sala never made it back to Cardiff when the plane went missing over the English Channel. His body was ​found and identified after nearly two weeks of searching, but the body of pilot David Ibbotson was never recovered.

Cardiff have refused to pay Nantes for the transfer, despite the original agreement stating they must pay €6m to the French side within five days of the player being registered. Just over a month later, Nantes lodged a formal complaint to FIFA, requesting payment and for sanctions against Cardiff.

After a hearing at the end of September, FIFA has now released the full point-by-point decision on the matter from the Bureau of the Players’ Status Committee.

The document fully explains the facts of the case, highlighting the various claims and counter claims from both sides of the table, including the time and date of key moments, as well as arguments over the validity of the transfer and the level to which it was complete.


FIFA’s committee decided that Nantes’ claim was admissible and should be partially accepted, but any further claim is rejected. It means that Cardiff must pay the first transfer instalment of €6m, plus 5% interest, and were given 45 days starting as soon as Nantes supply bank details.

Should Cardiff refuse to pay and miss the 45-day deadline, they will be banned from registering new players, either domestically or internationally, until the payment is made for a maximum period of up to three entire and consecutive transfer windows.

If the €6m has still not been paid by the end of the third transfer window, which would be January 2021, the matter will be presented to FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee for consideration.

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