Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
World | By Melba Underwood

Paris Saint-Germain chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi subject of criminal proceedings

Paris Saint-Germain chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi subject of criminal proceedings

Criminal proceedings have been opened into Paris St-Germain's chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi by Swiss prosecutors.

Swiss prosecutors said on Thursday they had opened a criminal investigation into former FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke and Nasser Al-Khelaifi, chief executive of Qatar's beIN Media, focused on corruption linked to World Cup broadcasting rights.

The OAG announced on Thursday it is investigating the awarding of World Cup media rights for the 2026 and 2030 tournaments.

The proceeding against Al-Khelaifi is one of the first direct links to Qatar in sweeping investigations by federal law enforcement authorities in Switzerland, the United States, and France of Federation Internationale de Football Association, global soccer, and the 2018-2022 World Cup bidding contests.

In March a year ago, the OAG said Valcke was suspected of criminal mismanagement and other offences.

After PSG's offseason spree signed off by Al-Khelaifi, European soccer body UEFA opened its own case into possible violation of soccer-specific rules created to curb excessive spending by clubs on transfer fees and wages.

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The 43-year-old Al-Khelaifi is chairman of Qatar Sports Investments which has invested heavily in PSG.

UEFA also declined to comment Thursday.

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.

This week the court of arbitration for sport in Lausanne commenced hearing Valcke's appeal against his ban by Fifa's ethics committee.

The probe extends scrutiny of world soccer, has been in turmoil since US prosecutors said in 2015 that soccer officials had taken nearly $200 million in bribes from sports-marketing executives in the Americas seeking media and marketing rights to tournaments.

Both Al-Khelaifi and Valcke, as well as an unidentified businessman, are the subject of criminal proceedings as part of an investigation being conducted with the assistance of authorities in France, Greece, Italy and Spain.

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