Cardiff face long transfer ban if they miss Sala payment

People look at yellow flowers displayed in front of the portrait of Argentinian forward Emiliano Sala at the Beaujoire stadium in Nantes. (AFP)
Updated 04 November 2019

Cardiff face long transfer ban if they miss Sala payment

  • Cardiff and Nantes were unable to reach an amicable conclusion on the financial aspects of the move, so the case came before the Players’ Status Committee (PSC) of FIFA
  • The world governing body announced on September 30 that Cardiff must pay an initial €6 million to the French club

LONDON: Cardiff City face a three-window transfer ban unless they pay the first instalment of the €17 million ($19M) transfer fee for Emiliano Sala to Nantes.
The Argentine, 28, died when the light aircraft he was traveling in from France to Britain crashed into the English Channel in January.
Cardiff and Nantes were unable to reach an amicable conclusion on the financial aspects of the move, so the case came before the Players’ Status Committee (PSC) of FIFA.
The world governing body announced on September 30 that Cardiff must pay an initial €6 million (£5.2 million) to the French club.
Documents published on Monday, detailing the grounds for the decision, show that failure by Cardiff to pay the fee within 45 days of receiving bank details from Nantes following the ruling would mean “a ban on registering new players, either nationally or internationally, up until the due amounts are paid and for the maximum duration of three entire and consecutive registration periods.”
According to a source close to Nantes, the French club sent bank details to Cardiff “at the beginning of October,” which would mean the Welsh outfit has until mid-November to make the payment and thereby avoid a transfer ban. “Nantes expect everyone to fulfil their commitments and that the amount due to them is paid,” the source told AFP.
Cardiff confirmed on Monday they would lodge an appeal against the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) within the next two weeks.
They said the act of announcing they would appeal had effectively stopped the clock on the 45-day countdown.
The Championship club have argued that Sala was not officially their player when he died.
However, the PSC found that all the terms within the transfer agreement concluded between Cardiff and Nantes had been fulfilled.
The documents also show that Cardiff had sought a delay in the case until any other civil or criminal investigations into Sala’s death had been completed.
But the PSC ruled that the dispute before it was “of a purely contractual nature” and that “Cardiff had not been able to prove that the outcome of those local proceedings would be relevant to the outcome of the dispute pertaining to whether or not a transfer fee is due.”
The full fee payable for Sala was 17m euros, according to the FIFA documents.
The light aircraft Sala was traveling on came down during a night-time flight. His body was recovered, but that of the pilot, David Ibbotson, has never been found.
A report by Britain’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch said Sala and the pilot were likely exposed to “potentially fatal” levels of carbon monoxide on the plane.
In the aftermath of the tragedy, Cardiff were relegated from the Premier League after just one season back in the top flight.


Southgate to bring Sterling back from England exile

Updated 17 November 2019

Southgate to bring Sterling back from England exile

  • World Cup semifinalists ‘still have room for improvement as they chase first major title since 1966’

PRISTINA:  Gareth Southgate is set to bring Raheem Sterling back from his brief England exile in Sunday’s qualifier against Kosovo as he seeks to end the controversy over the Manchester City star’s row with Joe Gomez.

Sterling was dropped for Thursday’s 7-0 rout of Montenegro after clashing with England team-mate Gomez in the Three Lions’ training base canteen.

It is believed Sterling was unhappy with Gomez following an altercation with the Liverpool defender during City’s Premier League defeat at Anfield last weekend.

Although Sterling was left out of the Montenegro game as punishment for his attack on Gomez, Southgate has confirmed the winger will return for England’s final Group A fixture.

Sterling and Gomez, left with a scratch under his eye after the incident, are said to have patched up their relationship, but the center-back was jeered by England fans at Wembley when he came on as a substitute against Montenegro.

Both Southgate and Sterling expressed their support for Gomez and criticized the booing supporters, with the England manager reportedly comforting the shocked 22-year-old and his family after the match.

Now Southgate could include Gomez against Kosovo in a show of support for the Liverpool player.

With England already guaranteed to qualify for Euro 2020 in first place in their group, Southgate already planned to make changes, although he is keen to ensure England finish with a win as they eye a top-six seeding in next year’s tournament.

“We will make some changes, for sure, but the seeding in the group could be critical and we know it’s a big night for the Kosovans,” Southgate said.

“It’s a shame for them that they’re now out of this part of the qualification, although they’ve still got the playoffs in which I think they’ll be a huge threat in that format. “So, it will be a good test for us because it will still be a lively environment.

“The enthusiasm for the game is high and we want to finish the group with as many points as we can.”

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson could return following a one-match ban, while Southgate has to decide whether to keep faith with Ben Chilwell ahead of Danny Rose at left-back.

Harry Kane may have scored a hat-trick against Montenegro but it was Leicester’s Chilwell who was named England’s man of the match following a fine display in which he provided three assists in the opening 24 minutes.

“Ben, I liked the hunger in his game, the enthusiasm to get forward,” Southgate said.

“The whole team pressed well but he also pressed well from that full-back position, got into overlaps, his quality of delivery was excellent.”

Although England have cruised through their qualifying group, Southgate believes the 2018 World Cup semifinalists still have room for improvement as they chase a first major title since 1966.

“There were a couple of chances we conceded that just shouldn’t happen, so that’s still part of our game that we’ve got to improve upon,” he said.

“If we are to be a team that are going to challenge seriously, although we’re young, we’ve got to manage games well.

“We’ve got to make sure that, although we’re such a fantastic attacking threat, the rest of the team is right as well. There are things we’ve got to be better at.”