Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

World Cup bribery case opened against PSG president, Valcke

World Cup bribery case opened against PSG president, Valcke

Swiss prosecutors open up criminal proceedings against PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi over alleged bribery linked to World Cup broadcast rights.

Switzerland's attorney general has opened the case against the Qatari businessman over concerns that he attempted to bribe ex-FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke for the rights to show the World Cup on BeIn Sports - the broadcasting company at which that Al-Khelaifi is chief executive.

BeIN Sports, whose offices in France were raided by investigators on Thursday morning said it "refutes all accusations" made by the attorney general.

The new proceedings have arisen from an ongoing investigation into Valcke for alleged acts of "criminal mismanagement" concerning the awarding of World Cup media rights to certain countries.

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The Guardian has approached representatives for Khelaifi and Valcke for comment.

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) as it targeted a first Champions League title.

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

Al-Khelaifi's rising status in European soccer has seen him earn a seat on UEFA's strategy panel as a delegate of top clubs.

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Swiss prosecutors opened a criminal case against Valcke in March 2016.

On Wednesday, Valcke said his reputation had been destroyed by his ten-year ban from football as he appeared before a hearing to overturn the punishment at sport's highest appeal court, the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne.

Valcke was the right-hand man to disgraced former Federation Internationale de Football Association president Sepp Blatter, before being banned for 10 years over an alleged ticket scam at the 2014 World Cup.

In the three-year Swiss investigation of global soccer, prosecutors said Thursday they have details of 180 suspicious transactions through banks in the country and opened "around 25" criminal proceedings.

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