CARDIFF/ZURICH: Cardiff City are to tell world football federation FIFA that they are not due to pay the £15m Emiliano Sala transfer fee to Nantes because of a technicality.

The Welsh club have refused to make interim payments for the Argentinian striker, who died in a plane crash on January 21.

Nantes, in registering an initial complaint with FIFA, claimed that all the required paperwork had been completed.

Sala, 28, died when an aircraft piloted by David Ibbotson, who is still missing, crashed into the English Channel near Guernsey. The club had been due to pay a first instalment on 20 February.

A Cardiff source said the transfer agreement stipulated – at the request of Nantes – that the Football Association of Wales and France’s Ligue de Football Professional had to confirm the registration to both clubs by 22 January, along with confirmation of the international transfer certificate being released.

The Premier League also had to clear the registration.

Cardiff claim:

  • Ligue de Football Professionel had not contacted Cardiff either before or after 22 January.
  • The FAW did not confirm with Nantes.
  • The Ligue de Football Professional did not confirm with Nantes until 25 January.

It is thought the notifications clause was inserted because if the deal fell through, both Cardiff and Nantes would have had time to seek a new player before the January transfer window closed on 31 January.

BBC Sport has repored that arrangements for a signing-on fee did not meet Premier League rules and so had been rejected by the league.

Nantes say they completed all the necessary paperwork and have pointed out Fifa registered the international transfer certificate on January 21.