Monday, 18 December, 2017

Switzerland opens criminal proceedings against PSG Chairman

Paris Saint Germain club President Nasser Al Khelaifi
AP Paris Saint Germain club President Nasser Al Khelaifi Credit AP
Kristopher Love | 12 October, 2017, 19:08

Swiss prosecutors have opened criminal proceedings against Paris St-Germain's chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi over the sale of World Cup TV rights.

While Qatari national Al-Khelaifi is the president of the famed French football club PSG, the statement indicates the alleged offences pertain to his role as the head of sports media group BEIN, which operates on five continents.

The 2018 and 2022 World Cup will be played in Russian Federation and Qatar respectively, while the 2026 and 2030 tournaments have not yet been awarded.

Federal prosecutors say the new proceedings are connected with an ongoing investigation which the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) opened past year against former Federation Internationale de Football Association secretary general Jerome Valcke in relation to "various acts of criminal mismanagement".

Valcke was alleged to have received "undue advantages" from the businessman, who was not identified, to award "media rights for certain countries" for four World Cups from 2018 through 2030.

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 £198 million. BeIN has also acquired a broad portfolio of rights including from European soccer body UEFA for the Champions League and national team matches.

Last year, The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) said it was investigating Valcke for "various acts of criminal mismanagement".

"FIFA has constituted itself as a damaged party in this investigation", the Zurich-based organization said.