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.
Switzerland’s attorney general has opened the case against the Qatari businessman over concerns that he attempted to bribe ex-FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke for the rights to show the World Cup on BeIn Sports – the broadcasting company at which that Al-Khelaifi is chief executive.
The office for the Swiss attorney general made the revelation on its official site on Thursday afternoon, and revealed that proceedings had been opened against the pair since March.
Swiss court has opened corruption probe against Paris Saint-Germain chief executive Nasser Al-Khelaifi over sale of World Cup media rights
— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) October 12, 2017
The statement read: “The criminal proceeding of the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) has been opened on 20 March 2017 against the former Secretary General of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Jérôme Valcke, the Chief Executive Officer of the BEIN MEDIA GROUP LLC Nasser 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.”
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.
Properties in France, Greece, Italy and Spain were searched in an attempt to locate documents relating to the allegations, while Valcke himself was questioned over his involvement in the alleged crimes on Thursday morning.
Valcke was a target for Swiss authorities last year as it looked into “various acts of criminal mismanagement” involving the French football administrator, with investigations still naturally ongoing over that case.
No individual has yet been remanded in custody, nor have any official charges been laid at the feet of either Al-Khelaifi or Valcke, while the investigation continues.