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Sport

‘Cardiff could face points deduction over Sala payments’

Posted By:  on  February 8, 2019



A former FIFA official has weighed in on the matter, stating that a lot needs to be considered due to both the human and financial aspects Cardiff City could face a Premier League points deduction if they fail to honour their £15 million ($19m) agreement to sign Emiliano Sala from Nantes, according to sports law expert Gianpaolo Monteneri. The striker had returned to France to bid farewell to his team-mates ahead of his January move to Wales, and lost his life when the aircraft carrying him and pilot David Ibbotson fell into the English channel. Sala’s death was formally confirmed on Thursday night after authorities successfully recovered his body from the submerged aircraft near Guernsey. On Tuesday, however, Cardiff had been contacted by Nantes, who asked that the first instalment of the fee for the Argentine be paid within 10 days. The Bluebirds’ response was that they wanted to respect Sala’s family and clarify all the facts before any payments would be made, but Zurich- based lawyer Monteneri, the former head of FIFA’s Players’ Status Department from 1997-2005, issued a warning to the Premier League club. “If certain deadlines, which are mentioned in the transfer contract, are not met, then these may trigger consequences for the club in question,” Monteneri told Press Association Sport. “This can be from admonishment right up to a withdrawal of league points. It’s a very tricky situation as we are talking about a human tragedy and an important amount of money. “It’s a human case on one side, and on the other side, for Nantes, a financial case and compensation that they are potentially not receiving. “They have also lost a key player and for them it’s the sporting effect as well that needs to be considered.” Cardiff were surprised to hear Nantes’ demands while attempts to recover the bodies of Sala and Ibbotson were still underway, with both clubs seemingly now involved in a legal conflict. Reports have suggested that Cardiff had taken out insurance on the striker worth up to £16 million ($21m), but would likely incur excess payments, plus the potential revenue loss around their record signing. Monteneri believes that there are two ways things could play out regarding the legal issues. “There are, in my opinion, two possible solutions,” he said. “The first one is that the parties have decided to skip FIFA and, in such a case, the matter is submitted to the Players’ Status Committee in the first instance, with the possibility of an appeal to CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport). “For this kind of matter, there is an obligation to go to football or sports-related bodies. “It is also an advantage for the parties involved to go to a body that is specialised in football matters because they have a better understanding of the case and are far faster [at coming to conclusions]. “I think it is very likely that Nantes will proceed to the end to get compensation in what is a unique case, and the two clubs will sit at a table to find a suitable solution for all of them.”

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