Swiss prosecutor seeks 28-month prison sentence for PSG president

Fifa’s former number two Jerome Valcke is also in hot water.

Image: Alamy Stock Photo

THE SWISS public prosecutor on Tuesday called for Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi and Fifa’s former number two Jerome Valcke to be sent to prison for corruption over a World Cup TV rights deal.

The Swiss authorities are appealing the verdicts handed down to the two men after a 2020 trial that acquitted Al-Khelaifi and handed Valcke a suspended sentence.

Al-Khelaifi, the chairman of beIN Media, was cleared of inciting aggravated criminal mismanagement, with Valcke found guilty of a separate charge of forging documents related to the attribution of Italian and Greek World Cup TV rights.

Valcke was ordered to pay €1.65 million in compensation to Fifa, including €400,000 in the main case, as well as 80,000 Swiss francs in legal costs.

“The defendants receive a yellow card, but no more”, concluded the president of the court, Stephan Zenger.

On day two of the appeal hearing the federal prosecutor Cristina Castellote requested a 28-month prison sentence for Al-Khelaifi and 35 months for Valcke.

Valcke and Al-Khelaifi were accused of a “corrupt agreement” over Qatari-owned broadcaster beIN’s extension of its media rights in North Africa and the Middle East for the 2026 and 2030 World Cups.

Valcke was said to have sought the Qatari’s help in the summer of 2003 to buy a luxury villa in Sardinia, at a time when beIN was negotiating the extension.

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The prosecutor said Al-Khelaifi acquired the house for €5 million, via a company that was transferred almost immediately to the brother of one of his close collaborators before it was made available to Valcke.

The two men denied wrongdoing and said the deal was a “private” arrangement, unrelated to the contract concluded by beIN with Fifa in April 2014.

The appeal hearing continues Wednesday.

– © AFP 2022

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