Cardiff City Football Club have submitted documents to the public prosecutor in Nantes to bring criminal charges against FC Nantes over the death of striker Emiliano Sala, reported The Guardian.
A Cardiff City 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.”
The spokesperson continued that their own investigation had shown sufficient evidence of wrongdoing to prompt a thorough probe by the French authorities into those responsible for the arrangement of the transfer on behalf of FC Nantes and for arranging the 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,” concludes the official statement by Cardiff.
Cardiff City and Nantes FC have been in conflict since the forward’s tragic death in January 2019.
The Argentine footballer had just completed a transfer worth £15 million from Nantes to Cardiff when the Piper Malibu aircraft he was flying in to Wales crashed into the English Channel. The 28-year-old had flown to France to pick up his belongings and to bid former teammates goodbye.
Cardiff subsequently refused to pay the fee agreed with Nantes for the transfer, as Sala had died before he could play a single game for the Welsh club, then in the Premier League.
However, Fifa ruled in October 2019 that the deal was done, and that Cardiff must pay the first instalment of the overall transfer fee, around €6 million or £5.3 million.
Cardiff have since appealed that decision at the court of arbitration for sport.