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Criminal proceedings opened against PSG president Al-Khelaifi in World Cup bribery case

Nasser Al-Khelaifi will be investigated as part of criminal proceedings brought by the Swiss attorney general’s office.

THE SWISS ATTORNEY general’s office (OAG) has opened criminal proceedings against Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi and former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke in connection to the awarding of World Cup media rights for 2026 and 2030.

The proceedings relate to an ongoing OAG investigation into Valcke that began in March 2016, which was opened on “suspicion of various acts of criminal mismanagement”.

Findings obtained in that process have led to a separate line of inquiry involving Al-Khelaifi, who is CEO of beIN Media Group.

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

“The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland has opened a criminal proceeding against the former Secretary General of FIFA 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.

It is suspected that Jerome Valcke accepted undue advantages from a businessman in the sports rights sector in connection with the award of media rights for certain countries at the FIFA World Cups in 2018, 2022, 2026 and 2030 and from Nasser Al-Khelaifi in connection with the award of media rights for certain countries at the FIFA World Cups in 2026 and 2030.

Addresses in France, Greece, Italy and Spain have been raided in relation to the investigation.

Valcke – who was interviewed on Thursday - is currently in the process of appealing against his 10-year ban from football at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The Frenchman was found guilty of a series of breaches of FIFA’s code of ethics and was sacked in January 2016, though he has always denied any wrongdoing.

- Omni

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