Emiliano Sala

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Cardiff to appeal Sala transfer fee ruling

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Cardiff City have confirmed they will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after being ordered by FIFA to pay the first instalment of $6.5 million to Nantes for striker Emiliano Sala.

Sala signed for Cardiff in January but was killed in a plane crash in the English Channel on Jan. 21. He was flying to Cardiff to being training with his new team after completing his $18.4 million transfer to the then Premier League club.

Nantes had complained to FIFA that Cardiff hadn’t paid them the first instalment for Sala, as the Welsh side claimed it wasn’t legally binding and the two clubs met FIFA in Switzerland last week.

FIFA then ordered Cardiff to pay the transfer fee for Sala, and the Bluebirds have released the following statement as they confirmed they will appeal to CAS.

“Following FIFA’s update on their announcement regarding the transfer of Emiliano Sala, Cardiff City Football Club will be launching an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Cardiff City FC is extremely disappointed at the decision of the Players Status Committee to award against the club. It would appear the committee has reached its conclusion on a narrow aspect of the overall dispute, without considering the full documentation presented by Cardiff City FC to FIFA.

“Nevertheless there remains clear evidence that the transfer agreement was never completed in accordance with multiple contractual requirements which were requested by Nantes, thereby rendering it null and void. We shall be appealing to CAS in order to seek a decision which considers all of the relevant contractual information and provides clarity on the full legal situation between our two clubs.”

Cardiff added that “this is a complex matter, which includes ongoing civil and criminal considerations both in the UK and abroad, which will likely have an impact on the validity of the transfer. It is therefore vital that a comprehensive judgement is reached following a full assessment and review of the facts.”

FIFA orders Cardiff to pay Nantes initial fee for Emiliano Sala

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FIFA has ruled that Cardiff City must pay FC Nantes the initial $6.5 million for the transfer of the late Emiliano Sala, and reportedly will be required to transact the entire $18 million fee once it comes due according to the negotiated deal in January.

The Argentine striker died in a plane crash on the way to his new club, along with the pilot David Ibbotson.

Initially, it seemed by the FIFA announcement that a middle ground had been reached, with FIFA requiring just the $6.5 million to be paid as a way of placating the two sides in an emotionally charged dispute. However, it is now being reported that the payment amount is for the initial fee owed by Cardiff City at the time of the transfer, and that FIFA has ruled that the Welsh club will indeed be on the hook for the entire fee once it comes due. The confusion stems from Nantes only officially appealing to FIFA for the initial payment due in January, but that the precedent has now been set for future installments as well.

Cardiff City has 10 days to accept the decision or appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and reports state they will indeed do so. They have argued that because paperwork had not been completed and Sala had not been registered to the club at his time of death, they were not on the hook for his club-record fee, while Nantes countered that the two parties had agreed to the transfer and because of Sala’s departure from their grounds to make his way to Cardiff City, they should be compensated for his services.

An autopsy in August determined that Sala was exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide prior to his death, with investigators surmising that the exposure likely contributed to the crash. With the body of pilot David Ibbotson still missing, it’s assumed that he was also exposed to the fumes, which could have rendered the duo unconscious, leading to the crash.

Two jailed over CCTV footage of Sala’s autopsy

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SWINDON, England — Two people who worked for a security company have been jailed for illegally accessing footage of the autopsy of Argentine soccer player Emiliano Sala, leading to it being circulated online.

Swindon Crown Court on Monday sentenced Sherry Bray, the director of Wiltshire-based Camera Security Services Limited, and her employee, Christopher Ashford, to 14 months and five months in prison, respectively.

Prosecutors said Bray accessed the closed-circuit television camera footage from a mortuary in Bournemouth a day after Sala’s body was recovered on Feb. 6. He had been missing since the single-engine Piper Malibu aircraft carrying him and pilot David Ibbotson crashed near the Channel Island of Guernsey on Jan. 21.

The 28-year-old Sala, who had played for French club Nantes, was traveling to join his new team, Cardiff, in Wales.

Bray allegedly sent a message to Ashford before his night shift, saying: “There’s a nice one on the table for you to watch when you’re next in.”

Both Bray and Ashford replayed the clip of Sala’s autopsy during separate shifts before Bray took a picture of it on her mobile phone and sent it to her daughter on Facebook Messenger, leading to it being widely shared on social media, prosecutors said.

Bray was also accused of taking a picture of another body in the mortuary, of a man who had died in non-suspicious circumstances.

Forensic pathologist Doctor Basil Purdue said it had been a “flagrant breach of medical confidentiality.”

Sala’s sister, Romina Sala, said in a statement that she had found out about the leak when she saw pictures of her brother’s body on Instagram.

“I cannot believe there are people so wicked and evil who could do that,” Romina Sala’s statement said. “I’ll never erase those images from my head. My brother and mother can never forget about this.”

The defendants each admitted three counts of computer misuse at the court in August. Bray also admitted to obstructing justice by deleting the photos from her phone and instructing Ashford to do the same.

Judge Peter Crabtree told Bray and Ashford: “You have both abused your positions in quite an appalling way.”

Toxicology report: Sala exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide

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Emiliano Sala had been exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide prior to the plane crash which claimed his life on Jan. 21, 2019, according to toxicology tests.

While it is unknown exactly when the 28-year-old Argentine was exposed to carbon monoxide, the Air Accidents Investigations Branch believes that pilot David Ibbotson, who has still not been found, would have likely also been exposed.

“Toxicology tests found that the passenger had a high saturation level of COHb (the combination product of carbon monoxide and hemoglobin). It is considered likely that the pilot would also have been exposed to carbon monoxide.”

According to the tests, the levels of carbon monoxide in Sala’s blood were so high that it could have caused a seizure, unconsciousness or a heart attack, according to the BBC.

Sala, who was to be Cardiff City’s club-record signing, was returned to Argentina and laid to rest in February.

Manslaughter arrest over Sala’s death

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A man has been arrested on suspicion of “manslaughter by an unlawful act” following the death of Emiliano Sala.

Sala, 28, died in a plane crash in January as he flew to Cardiff City following his club-record $18 million transfer from French club Nantes.

The plane he was on has since been found in the English Channel, just north of Guernsey, along with his body but the body of pilot David Ibbotson had never been found.

According to Dorset Police the arrest was made in Yorkshire, England as they have confirmed that a 64-year-old man has been arrested and released while they continue their investigations.

Detective Inspector Simon Huxter, of Dorset Police’s Major Crime Investigation Team (MCIT) released the following statement.

“We have carried out a wide-ranging investigation into the circumstances of the death of Mr Sala and continue to work with partner agencies including the Civil Aviation Authority.

“As part of this investigation we have to consider whether there is any evidence of any suspected criminality and as a result of our enquiries we have today, Wednesday 19 June 2019, arrested a 64-year-old man from the North Yorkshire area on suspicion of manslaughter by an unlawful act. He is assisting with our enquiries and has been released from custody under investigation.”

“This matter therefore is still subject to a live investigation and I would ask the media and members of the public to refrain from speculation, as this could cause additional distress to the families involved as well as potentially hinder the investigation. As is standard practice, we will not be releasing any further information as to the identity of the individual who has been arrested unless that person is charged to appear in court and again would discourage any speculation in relation to this.”

Dorset Police have been carrying out the investigations on behalf of the coroner as Sala’s body was brought to Portland, Dorset when it was found in February after a private search in the English Channel.