Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Swiss open criminal case against ex-FIFA official Valcke, beIN CEO

Swiss open criminal case against ex-FIFA official Valcke, beIN CEO

Nasser al-Khelaifi was named by the Swiss attorney general's office (OAG) in a case investigating over allegations that bribes were offered to former FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke to award the 2026 and 2030 World Cup TV rights to Khelaifi's BeIN Media group.

A Swiss court has opened a corruption probe against Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the Qatari businessman and chief executive of Paris Saint-Germain, and former Federation Internationale de Football Association secretary general Jerome Valcke.

"At the same time, in cooperation with the competent authorities in France, Greece, Italy and Spain, properties were searched in various locations".

Valcke, who worked for FIFA between 2007 and 2015, is now serving a 10-year ban from football - issued by the FIFA Appeal Committee in June 2016 - after being embroiled in the corruption scandal that hit football's governing body in 2015.

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

Al-Khelaifi is a key member of the organising committee for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar and was described by French newspaper L'Equipe as "the most powerful man in French football".

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BeIn Media Group, PSG, FIFA and Valcke were not immediately available for comment.

Valcke was banned from football for 10 years for his alleged involvement in a scheme to profit from World Cup ticket sales.

Valcke... Al-Khelaifi and a businessman in the sports rights sector, on suspicion of bribery of private individuals...fraud, criminal mismanagement and forgery of a document.

Al Khelaifi's profile has risen in recent weeks as PSG pursued and sealed a world record transfer of Brazil forward Neymar from Barcelona for £198m.

The OAG stressed "no one has been on remand" and "the presumption of innocence applies".

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