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Cardiff begin process of bringing criminal charges against Nantes over Sala transfer

The Championship club have asked for an investigation into Nantes’ role in the events which led to the striker’s tragic death.

Supporters gather to pay tribute to Emiliano Sala prior the French Ligue 1 fixture between Nantes and Bordeaux at La Beaujoire.
Supporters gather to pay tribute to Emiliano Sala prior the French Ligue 1 fixture between Nantes and Bordeaux at La Beaujoire.
Image: Michel Euler

CARDIFF CITY HAVE begun proceedings to bring criminal charges against FC Nantes regarding the death of Argentinian striker Emiliano Sala last year.

The Championship club have submitted documents to the public prosecutor in Nantes, in which they call for an investigation into the Ligue 1 side’s role in the events during the lead-up to Sala’s death in a plane crash on 21 January 2019.

Sala was on his way to officially sign with Cardiff when the plane in which he was travelling crashed into the English Channel.

Cardiff are refusing to pay the €17m fee agreed with Nantes for the transfer, however, claiming it was never completed. Fifa, who ruled otherwise, have already ordered Cardiff to pay the first €6m instalment — a decision against which Cardiff have launched an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

“CCFC has been clear throughout the past 12 months that a full investigation of the facts leading up to the tragedy is required,” said a spokesperson for the Welsh club.

“Not only to fully understand what led to the downing of the Piper PA-46 Malibu plane, but to answer the wider questions that have been highlighted in this case, specifically related to the use of illegal flights in the football industry and the role of intermediaries in player transfers.

As a result of our investigation we believe there is sufficient evidence of wrongdoing that necessitates investigation by the French authorities of those responsible for the arrangement of the transfer on behalf of FC Nantes and for arranging the doomed flight.

“We have therefore passed over information to the Parquet de Nantes to assist their efforts. We remain committed to establishing the full facts and adhering to any final decision on our financial liability in the transfer.”

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