Cardiff City F.C. has paid FC Nantes the first instalment of the transfer fee for Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala, who died in a plane accident four years ago, the French club said on Wednesday.
Sala, 28, died when the light aircraft carrying the striker came down in the English Channel on the way to the Welsh capital on January 21, 2019, two days after signing for the then Premier League side.
The payment of around six million euros was made after Cardiff lost their appeal to sport’s highest court last year against paying the initial part of the 17 million euro transfer fee to Nantes.
The Bluebirds had tried to back out of paying the fee, claiming Sala’s transfer had not been finalised at the time of the crash which also killed the plane’s pilot, David Ibbotson.
World football’s governing body FIFA ordered Cardiff to pay up to the first six million, a decision upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) last August.
CAS rejected Cardiff’s appeal, finding that the transfer had been fully completed.
Cardiff, struggling two points above the relegation zone in England’s second-tier Championship, has been banned from signing players during the dispute with Nantes.