LFP: Sala Transfer Finalised Less Than 3h Before Crash

Story By: Joseph Golder, Sub EditorJoseph GolderAgencyGolders

Cardiff’s refusal to pay for Emiliano Sala has come under scrutiny as the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) reportedly claim they finalised the striker’s contract less than three hours before his tragic plane crash.

The LFP are quoted in French newspaper L’Equipe as reporting that Sala’s transfer was finalised on Monday 21st January at 6.30 PM when “the Football Association of Wales acknowledged receipt of the international transfer certificate” (CIT).

Nantes are also reportedly relying on the emission time of the CIT – 21st January at 5.30 PM to support their claim that the transfer is valid.


Picture Credit: Golders/@cardiffcityfc

Cardiff however are said to be planning to contest the deal and declare it “null and void” after refusing to pay the first 6-million-EUR (5.1-million-GBP) instalment of the player’s 17-million-EUR (14.7-million-GBP) transfer fee to Nantes.

Cardiff are reportedly basing their contest on a clause in the transfer deal – paragraph 2.1.4. – to have the transfer declared “null and void”, suggesting that the LFP did not notify both clubs in time that the CIT had been finalised.

The Football Association of Wales and the LFP both reportedly need to confirm to both clubs that Emiliano Sala had been registered as a Bluebirds player and that his International Transfer Certificate had been released.

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Pictures Credit: Golders/@emilianosala9

L’Equipe, however, argue that Cardiff’s “argument is swept away by the Ligue”.

On the day of the plane crash, 21st January, the Football Association of Wales “requested the CIT of the player from the FFF [French Football Federation] via TMS [Transfer Matching System].” At 2.07 PM, the FFF queried the LFP “to determine if they could answer favourably regarding the CIT request”.

The Ligue did this “at 5 PM” and the “endorsement of termination of the professional contract was approved at the same time”. At 5.14 PM, the FFF “granted the player’s CIT to the Welsh Federation via TMS” then finalising the transfer “at 6:30 PM”, when the Welsh Federation “acknowledged receipt of the CIT”. 

Less than three hours later, the Piper Malibu plane fell off the radar off Guernsey.

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Pictures Credit: Golders/@emilianosala9

It is currently unclear when the clubs themselves were notified of the LFP finalising the contract.

The LFP is a governing body that runs the major French professional football leagues. It operates under the French Football Federation’s authority and is headquartered in the French capital Paris.

FIFA have given the Bluebirds until 3rd April to reply to Nantes’ request for payment of the first 6 million EUR of the 17-million-EUR transfer which was due on 26th January.

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Joseph Golder

I am a journalist and currently work as the chief subeditor at Central European News.

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