Ex-FIFA executive and PSG president investigated in bribery case

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

PSG Chairman Subject of Criminal Investigation Over World Cup Bribery Claims

The Swiss attorney general's office (OAG) has opened criminal proceedings against former Federation Internationale de Football Association secretary general Jerome Valcke and beIN Media Group CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi in connection to the awarding of World Cup media rights for 2026 and 2030.

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.

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

The case involves the award of broadcast rights for the next four World Cups from 2018 through 2030.

The statement from Switzerland's top prosecutor also alleges illegal dealings with "Nasser Al-Khelaifi in connection with the award of media rights for certain countries at the FIFA World Cups in 2026 and 2030".

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 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.

Al-Khelaifi's profile has risen in recent weeks as PSG pursued and sealed a world record transfer of Brazil star Neymar from Barcelona for 222 million euros ($260 million).

The investigation was opened in March and is separate from a probe Switzerland launched against Valcke in March of 2016 over alleged criminal mismanagement during his tenure as deputy to FIFA's disgraced former president Sepp Blatter.

Valcke, a French former TV presenter, was in Switzerland on Wednesday to testify at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in his appeal hearing against a 10-year ban by Federation Internationale de Football Association for financial wrongdoing and abuse of expenses.

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