PSG president Al-Khelaifi charged with criminal offences

The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland has taken actions against those said to have exploited the awarding of media rights in important events.

Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has been charged with criminal offences in Switzerland over his alleged role in the manipulation of World Cup broadcasting rights by FIFA’s former general secretary Jerome Valcke.

The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) has taken action against people caught up in the scandal.

Valcke stands accused of having accepted bribes in regards to the supply of media rights for World Cup and Confederations Cup events.

Al-Khelaifi, who’s also head of the beIN Media Group and a third party are alleged to have incited Valcke to perpetrate”aggravated criminal mismanagement”.

A statement published by the OAG read:”The investigations demonstrated that Valcke had obtained undue advantages from both co-accused. Valcke has reimbursed the down payment of approximately EUR 500,000 he had made to a third party on purchasing a villa in Sardinia, after Al-Khelaifi had bought the villa through a provider rather than Valcke. Valcke then received from Al-Khelaifi the exclusive right to use the villa for a period of 18 months — until he was suspended by FIFA — without needing to pay an estimated rent between approximately EUR 900,000 and approximately EUR 1.8m. In the third accused Valcke received three payments totalling about EUR 1.25m for his firm Sportunited LLC.

“The cost of criminal mismanagement is related to the fact that Valcke hadn’t reported the mentioned advantages he obtained to FIFA, as he was needed to perform as its Secretary General, thus unlawfully enriching himself. Within this circumstance, Al-Khelaifi and the third accused are charged with corresponding incitement.

“In connection with the falsification of documents, Valcke is charged with causing the issuance of untruthful balance sheets for Sportunited LLC in 2013 and 2014, he had the 3 obligations from the accused entered as loans.

“The charges of accepting and paying bribes are based on the allegation that between 2013 and 2015 Valcke exploited his position as Secretary-General of FIFA to influence the award of media rights for Italy and Greece for various World Cup and FIFA Confederations Cup championships at the interval between 2018 and 2030 so as to favour media partners he preferred. In return, the alleged promised and really made the aforementioned three obligations to Valcke totalling EUR 1.25m.

“On the other hand, the feeling that Valcke accepted a luxury watch that Al-Khelaifi offered him in return for exerting his influence as Secretary-General of FIFA wasn’t found to be substantiated. Because of this, an abandonment of proceedings order in connection with this matter was issued in February 2020.”

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