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Football’s world governing body FIFA has ruled that $6,543,510 (6,000,000 euros) must be paid by Cardiff City to French side Nantes for the transfer of Emiliano Sala, the striker who died in a plane crash over the English Channel earlier this year.

Sala and pilot David Ibbotson were both traveling from Nantes towards Cardiff on January 21 when their light aircraft crashed, two days after the transfer had been agreed, according to FIFA.

The dispute between the two clubs centered around whether Sala was a Cardiff or a Nantes player at the time of the plane journey, and whether Cardiff would have to pay the transfer fee agreed by the clubs.

The $6 million fee corresponds to the first installment that was due to be paid after the transfer had been agreed, said FIFA.

Monday’s ruling can be appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne.

It was revealed in August that Sala and Ibbotson were both exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide inside the plane before the crash.


Sala, who scored 42 goals for Nantes since joining from Bordeaux in 2015, had just signed for Cardiff — which has since been relegated from the Premier League — for a reported £15 million ($19.3 million).

The 28-year-old was on his way to his new club having said goodbye to his teammates in France.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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