FIFA have ruled that Cardiff City must pay French club Nantes £5.3million for the transfer of tragic striker Emiliano Sala.

The figure is the first instalment of the club-record £15million fee that the Welsh side had agreed to pay for the Argentine, who tragically died in an airplane crash in January.

Sala died when the aircraft he was travelling in from France to the UK crashed in the English Channel.

His body was recovered in February but the body of the pilot, David Ibbotson, has never been found.

Emiliano Sala during his time with Nantes (Image: AFP/Getty Images)

Cardiff had argued that they could not be held liable for the £15million fee because Sala had not been registered as a Premier League player.

Now FIFA’s player status committee has decided that they must pay the amount equivalent to the first instalment of that fee.

A declaration from world football’s governing body said: “In a meeting held on 25 September 2019 the FIFA Players’ Status Committee established that Cardiff City FC must pay FC Nantes the sum of EUR 6,000,000, corresponding to the first instalment due in accordance with the transfer agreement concluded between the parties on 19 January 2019 for the transfer of the late Emiliano Sala from FC Nantes to Cardiff City FC.
Sala poses with his Cardiff shirt on January 20(Image: AFP/Getty)

“The FIFA Players’ Status Committee, which never lost sight of the specific and unique circumstances of this tragic situation during its deliberations on the dispute at stake, refrained from imposing procedural costs on the parties.

“The findings of the decision were notified to the parties concerned today.

“Within a deadline of 10 days, Cardiff City FC and FC Nantes can request a copy of the grounds of the decision, which can be appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne.”