‘They did not take care of him in the way he deserved’: Mother of Emiliano Sala demands ‘justice’ and blasts Cardiff for ‘disrespectful’ refusal to pay £15m transfer fee for the late striker
- Mercedes Taffarel said she was ‘angry’ at how Cardiff City had treated her son
- She accused the club of ‘disrespect’ for their reluctance to pay the transfer fee
- Sala and his pilot died when their plane crashed into the Channel on January 21
The mother of late footballer Emiliano Sala has accused his club Cardiff City of disrespecting her family and said: ‘I demand justice’.
Mercedes Taffarel said her son, who died in a plane crash over the English Channel in January, had ‘not been taken care of in the way he deserved’.
Cardiff are locked in a row with Sala’s former club Nantes, who are demanding that the Welsh club pay up the £15million transfer fee which was agreed just days before his death.
Ms Taffarel said Cardiff’s reluctance to pay was a ‘sign of disrespect towards my family’.
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Mercedes Taffarel, the mother of late footballer Emiliano Sala (pictured together left), said her son (right) had ‘not been taken care of in the way he deserved’
Argentine striker Sala, 28, and pilot David Ibbotson died in the Piper PA-46 Malibu plane on January 21. The footballer’s body was identified on February 7.
Speaking to French newspaper L’Equipe, Ms Taffarel said she was ‘angry’ at how Cardiff had treated her son.
She said: ‘They did not take care of him. A player with a transfer cost that high… They did not take care of him in the way that he deserved.’
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Demanding ‘justice’ in the transfer fee row, she said her son’s signature was on the contract and said: ‘I do not know why they do not want to pay.’
It is unclear if there was any signing-on fee for Sala in the £15million transfer deal.
She said: ‘Do I see this as a sign of disrespect towards my family? Yes, I think so. It would have been different if he had not really signed.
Sala’s mother Mercedes (centre) and sister Romina (right) at Guernsey airport after taking a flight to view the area of the English Channel where the plane went missing
The Piper Malibu aircraft, N264DB, on the ground at Nantes Airport, France, prior to the flight which crashed into the Channel on January 21, killing Sala and pilot David Ibbotson
‘Of course, they too are investigating the accident to find out what happened. That seems logical. But they have to keep their word. The signature cannot be rubbed out.’
Ms Taffarel went on: ‘I want justice for my son. I simply want the truth. Let justice determine if there has been negligence, if someone made a mistake, and make them pay.
‘May those who had something to do with this pay. ‘
Sala had scored 12 goals in 19 league games for Nantes in the first half of this season, prompting Cardiff to pay a club-record £15million fee for him.
His body was recovered in a privately-funded search, after the official search was called off when Guernsey’s harbour master said the chances of survival were ‘extremely remote’.
Tributes in France: Yellow flowers are laid out in front of a portrait of the Argentinian forward at the Beauvoir stadium, the home ground of Sala’s former club Nantes
Tributes in Wales: A sea of flowers and Cardiff City scarves are left outside the Welsh club’s stadium after the striker went missing on January 21
Agent Willie McKay arranged for the flight to take Sala to Cardiff but he said he had no involvement in selecting the plane or pilot.
Ms Taffarel said: ‘He talked with my daughter but not with me. And I got no answers from him. He made the plane available.’
The aircraft remains underwater 21 miles off the coast of Guernsey in the English Channel as poor weather conditions stopped efforts to recover it.
Last month Nantes lodged a complaint with FIFA over Cardiff’s refusal to pay the first instalment of the fee.
Cardiff have said they want to wait for the investigation into the crash to be completed.
The club said last month they remained ‘committed to ensuring fairness and accountability’ over the deal, but insisted ‘the facts surrounding this tragedy’ had to first be established.
In the meantime, Nantes owe half of the transfer fee to Sala’s former club Bordeaux under a previous transfer agreement.