PSG boss investigated over World Cup media rights

Cheryl Sanders
October 12, 2017

The proceedings are connected to an ongoing investigation into former Federation Internationale de Football Association secretary general Jerome Valcke, and relate to the sale of World Cup TV rights to BeInSports, of which Al-Khelaifi is chief executive.

An unnamed figure in the sports rights business is also accused of having bribed Valcke in connection with the award of media rights for the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation, 2022 in Qatar, and the 2026 and 2030 tournaments.

The latest proceedings in a broader Swiss investigation of Federation Internationale de Football Association are against Valcke, Al-Khelaifi, and a businessman in the sports rights sector, the office of the Swiss attorney general said in a statement.

According to the OAG, Valcke is also suspected of accepting advantages from the businessman for rights to the 2018, 2022, 2026 and 2030 editions.

The Paris offices of BeIN Sports were searched on Thursday as part of a criminal probe against Valcke and Al-Khelaifi, French authorities said.

Valcke was sacked by Federation Internationale de Football Association in January 2016 in connection with affairs around World Cup tickets and television rights.

Valcke is now serving a 10-year suspension for his alleged involvement in a scheme to profit from World Cup ticket sales.

The following month the OAG announced that it had opened proceedings against Valcke "on suspicion of various acts of criminal mismanagement and other offences" in relation to two matters investigated by Fifa's ethics committee. He filed an appeal to the ban with the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) in February of this year.

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.

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