Cardiff City have accused Nantes of breaking several FIFA regulations during the transfer of the late Emiliano Sala, as part of their submission to FIFA in the dispute over the liability for his £15m fee.
Sala tragically died on January 21st in transit from France to Wales, but the mourning over this tragedy has unfortunately descended into a bitter legal battle between the two clubs over the validity of his transfer and the possible liability for his death.
The Bluebirds had previously lodged that the move had become ‘null and void’ after his passing, because the contract he had signed was non-compliant with the Premier League’s rules and several legally-binding clauses in that contract had not been fulfilled by the Ligue 1 side.
But, as reported by the Telegraph, the Welsh team are also alleging that Nantes failed to notify FIFA’s Transfer Matching System that agent Mark McKay had been acting on their behalf in the deal.
Explaining what this means, a source close to the Telegraph proclaimed: “The omission potentially impacts on the validity of the International Transfer Certificate and clearly constitutes a breach of Annexe 3 RSTP, rendering Nantes liable to sanction.”
These regulations also state that the uploading of “a copy of the contract between the new club and the professional player” is required, something the Premier League side were incapable of producing because the player died before a revised contract could be signed.
Uglier still, are the allegations from Cardiff that the French side could potentially be held ‘vicariously’ responsible for the plane crash, after it was revealed the flight in question was booked by McKay’s father, Willie.
A statement from February on Cardiff’s official website, following a bulletin from the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB), declared: “We have grave concerns that questions still remain over the validity of the pilot’s licence and rating to undertake such a journey, as identified in the bulletin.
“We are also concerned to discover that the trip involved an aircraft which did not conform to either UK CAA or US FAA requirements for commercial activity and therefore may have been operating unlawfully.”
And now the club appear to invoking article 1242 of the French Civil code, which states: “We are liable not only for the damage we cause by our own actions, but also for the damage caused by the actions of the people for whom we are responsible, or the things we have in our custody.”
Willie McKay has also admitted to aiding his son during the transfer negotiations themselves.
For their part, the French side declined to comment on the claims regarding breaches in FIFA’s regulations, but affirmed they would reject any attempts to label them responsible for Sala’s death.