Swiss open probe against Al-Khelaifi

Swiss open probe against Al-Khelaifi

Swiss open probe against Al-Khelaifi

Nasser Al-Khelaifi is at the centre of a TV rights deal storm, after Swiss prosecutors opened criminal proceedings against the Paris-Saint Germain chairman.

The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) of Switzerland has opened a criminal proceeding against Jérôme Valcke, former secretary general of Federation Internationale de Football Association, and against Nasser Al-Khelaifi, chief executive officer of the beIN Media Group, in connection with the award of World Cup media rights.

Last year, The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) said it was investigating Valcke for "various acts of criminal mismanagement".

"The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland has opened a criminal proceeding against the former Secretary General of Federation Internationale de Football Association and against the Chief Executive Officer of the BEIN MEDIA GROUP LLC [Al-Khelaifi] in connection with the award of World Cup media rights", an official statement read.

Prosecutors claim that Valcke accepted the bribes from Al-Khelaifi with the intention of awarding media rights to "certain countries" for the World Cups due to be held in 2026 and 2030.

The investigation into Al-Khelaifi was reportedly opened in March 2017 and is being conducted in partnership with French, Greek, Italian and Spanish authorities.

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Findings obtained in that process have led to a separate line of inquiry involving PSG president Al-Khelaifi. "The company will fully cooperate with the authorities and is confident as to the future developments of this investigation", the spokesman said.

The PSG soccer club's Qatari owners are trying to build a global sports brand.

Swiss prosecutors opened a criminal case against Valcke in March 2016.

Valcke was the right-hand man to then-FIFA president Sepp Blatter for more than eight years until a swathe of senior executives at soccer's world body was removed from office in fallout from a U.S. Department of Justice indictment revealed in May 2015.

"FIFA has constituted itself as a damaged party in this investigation", the Zurich-based organization said. The DoJ has indicted or secured guilty pleas from more than 40 people.

The statement from Switzerland's top prosecutor also alleges illegal dealings with "Nasser Al-Khelaifi in connection with the award of media rights for certain countries at the FIFA World Cups in 2026 and 2030".

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