Cardiff City has started legal action against Nantes, seeking 100 million euros ($108.8 million) in compensation for the death of striker Emiliano Sala as he was flying to join the Welsh club in 2019.
Lawyers representing the French Ligue 1 club, told AFP on Monday that Cardiff set an action in motion in the Nantes commercial court last week and that a first hearing is scheduled for June 22.
Sala, 28, died when the light aircraft taking him to the Welsh capital came down in the Channel on January 21, 2019, two days after he had signed for the then Premier League side.
In January of this year, Cardiff finally paid Nantes the first instalment of Sala’s 17 million euro transfer fee, around six million euros, after losing an appeal to the Court for Arbitration in Sport against paying.
The Bluebirds claim Sala’s transfer had not been finalised at the time of the crash which also killed the plane’s pilot, David Ibbotson.
World football’s governing body FIFA ordered Cardiff, who are in the second-tier Championship, to pay the first six million, a decision upheld by CAS last August.
“After having been strongly rejected by FIFA, CAS, and the Swiss Federal Court, Cardiff opens a new absurd judicial front,” Nantes lawyers, Jerome Marsaudon and Louis-Marie Absil of Paris law firm RMT, said.
“Cardiff valued its so-called damages at 17 million euros and was totally rejected. Now, before the commercial court of Nantes, Cardiff consider that this same damage would be worth more than 100 million euros,” the lawyer said.
They said they were “very confident” the court would reject “these extravagant demands” and added that Nantes “will not fail to seek compensation for the damage that these abusive procedures have caused for over four years”.
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