Federation Internationale de Football Association confirms Nantes claim against Cardiff City over Sala payment

The 28-year-old footballer was on his way to his new club from Nantes before the plane he boarded disappeared in the English Channel

The 28-year-old footballer was on his way to his new club from Nantes before the plane he boarded disappeared in the English Channel

Relations with Nantes were damaged after two legal warnings were sent to Cardiff demanding payment around a fortnight after Sala's death.

Nantes referred the matter to the sport's global body after the Welsh side declined to pay an initial six million euros ($6.8 million) of the 17 million euros ($19.4 million) total fee.

Nantes wrote to Cardiff earlier this month asking that the first of three instalments be paid but the Premier League club said they wanted to wait until the investigation of the crash was complete - although they have stated they will be "honourable" over the fee if they are contractually obliged to pay.

Cardiff said they remained "committed to ensuring fairness and accountability" over the deal, but insisted "the facts surrounding this tragedy" had to first be established.

The French club told Federation Internationale de Football Association on Tuesday evening that it was still waiting to receive a first instalment on the transfer, the day after Cardiff expressed "grave concerns" following a report on the crash.

Mr Sala was on his way to Cardiff from Nantes on 23 January in a Piper Malibu aircraft, when it disappeared from radar screens, shortly after passing Guernsey. "We are looking into the matter and consequently we have no further comments at this stage".

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On Tuesday, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) detailed the doomed plane's route and outlined what went wrong.

Pilot David Ibbotson, 59, was flying Sala to the Premier League outfit on January 21 when the accident happened.

But it said the journey would have been allowed as a "private" flight in which costs are shared between pilot and passenger.

A crowd funded search has found "no trace" of the pilot of the plane which crashed with Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala on board.

AIIB also revealed Ibbotson did not have approval to fly commercially, and had not sought approval from authorities to do this.

The wreckage was found on the seabed at a depth of approximately 68 metres, the report said, as investigators released fresh pictures of the plane.

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