CARDIFF could be hit with a transfer ban if they refuse to pay Nantes the first instalment of the £15million owed for the signing of Emiliano Sala.
The Premier League team may face disciplinary action from Fifa if they don’t pay the French club the money they were expecting.
Sala’s plane crashed over the Channel last month with the Argentine en route to Wales.
Last night, it was tragically confirmed the body pulled from the plane crash wreck was Sala – with tributes pouring in for the footballer.
Earlier this week, Nantes threatened Cardiff with legal action if they fail to pay the initial £5m sum.
The Welsh side received a legal letter on Tuesday in which the Ligue 1 side claimed they will take them to court if they withhold payment.
And now Fifa have stepped in and threatened to pull the privilege of being able to make any new signings if they don’t cough up in the next ten days.
The two clubs agreed on a £15m deal on January 19, with the transfer certificate registered two days later.
That gives Cardiff until the end of next week to part company with £5m or risk disciplinary proceedings.
According to Fifa rules, the creditor “must have put the debtor club in default in writing and have granted a deadline of at least ten days for the debtor club to comply with its financial obligation”.
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Nantes of course have already done that, with Fifa set to mull over Cardiff’s potential punishment.
While a transfer ban is the worst case scenario on the disciplinary front, the Bluebirds could instead be given a warning or fined.
Reports claim Cardiff took out insurance for Sala after completing his big-money move to England.
The top-flight club have a policy of £16m per player – which covers the £15m transfer fee, but not his £2.5m-a-year pay packet.
Since last night’s horrendous news of Sala’s body being found came to light, the football world has united to pay their respects.
Kylian Mbappe, Alexandre Lacazette and Benjamin Mendy led the tributes online after Dorset Police’s statement.
A statement posted on the Cardiff website read: “It is with great sadness that we report the following statement, issued on February 7 2019 by the Dorset Police.
“‘The body brought to Portland Port today, Thursday 7 February 2019, has been formally identified by HM Coroner for Dorset as that of professional footballer Emiliano Sala.
“‘The families of Mr Sala and the pilot David Ibbotson have been updated with this news and will continue to be supported by specially-trained family liaison officers.’
“We offer our most heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the family of Emiliano. He and David will forever remain in our thoughts.”
Meanwhile, World Cup winner Mbappe wrote: “RIP EMI.”
Arsenal star Lacazette posted a photo of Sala with the message “1990-2019 RIP.”
Man City star Mendy posted a photo of Sala celebrating when in action for Nantes and wrote: “RIP.”
Cardiff defender Sol Bamba tweeted: “Tragic. May you rest in peace.”
Chelsea’s Batshuayi, on loan at Crystal Palace, wrote: “Resting in peace.”