Cardiff City begin proceedings against Nantes over death of Emiliano Sala

Paul MacInnes on 28 January 2020

Cardiff have started proceedings to bring criminal charges against Nantes over the death of Emiliano Sala.

The Championship club have submitted documents to the public prosecutor in Nantes, calling for an investigation into the role played by the French club in events leading up to Sala’s tragic death in a plane crash a year ago.

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

“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.”

The developments continue the acrimonious confrontation that has followed the tragedy. Sala died when his plane crashed into the Channel on the way to joining the then Premier League club.

Cardiff are refusing to pay the €17m fee agreed with Nantes for the transfer, claiming it was never completed. Fifa have ruled that the deal was done, however and that Cardiff must pay the first €6m instalment.

Cardiff have since appealed against this decision at the court of arbitration for sport.

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