Cardiff City have been ordered to pay the first instalment of Emiliano Sala’s transfer fee after the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled the deal was complete before his death.

The Argentinian joined the then English Premier League club from Nantes in January 2019 in a 17 million euros switch, and the French side’s claim for the first six million euros (just over £5m) under the terms of the deal has been upheld by CAS.

Sala died when the light aircraft he was travelling in from France crashed into the English Channel on January 21, 2019, two days after the Bluebirds had announced his signing.

Cardiff fans pay tribute to SalaCardiff fans pay tribute to Sala (Simon Galloway/PA)

His body was found and recovered from the wreckage of the aircraft in February of that year. The body of pilot David Ibbotson has not been found.

Cardiff were relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 2019 season and now play in the English Championship.

A statement issued by CAS on Friday afternoon read: “The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed the appeal filed by Cardiff City Football Club against Football Club de Nantes in relation to the decision issued by the bureau of the FIFA players’ status committee on September 25, 2019 (the challenged decision).

“The challenged decision, in which Cardiff City FC was ordered to pay six million euros to FC Nantes in connection with the transfer of the player Emiliano Sala between the clubs, is confirmed.”