Ligue 1 club Nantes have lodged a formal complaint with FIFA after Cardiff City refused to pay the first instalment of the £15m fee for Emiliano Sala.
According to The Sun, Cardiff were due to make an initial payment of £5.13 million for the player on February 5, but Nantes were forced to extend the deadline until the end of February after receiving none of the money owed.
Cardiff are still withholding the first payment for the deceased footballer, who lost his life after a private plane crash over the English channel in January.
The Sun reports that Nantes have submitted an official complaint to FIFA regarding the issue, with the French outfit still required to pay Bordeaux a 50 % portion of the Sala fee to comply with a sell-on clause in his contract.
A spokesman for FIFA spoke to Sun Sport confirming that a claim has been made against Cardiff, as he stated: “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.
“We are looking into the matter and consequently, we have no further comments at this stage.”
Cardiff City and Nantes are communicating with each other via lawyers, with the Wales-based club insisting that they will wait until all investigations into the plane crash are concluded before releasing funds to clear their debt.
As per The Sun, Cardiff have also released their own statement on the issue, which reads: “Cardiff remains committed to ensuring fairness and accountability with respect to the agreement. But first and foremost the relevant authorities must be allowed to determine the facts surrounding this tragedy. It is inappropriate to comment further at this stage”
The initial Aircraft Accident Investigations Board report, which was published at the start of the week, has raised doubt over the validity of pilot David Ibbotson’s licence to fly paying passengers, while Cardiff City are also looking into the role of Sala’s agent Willie McKay in the deal.
Caught Offside will bring you more on this story as it develops.