Swiss open corruption probe against PSG's Al-Khelaifi and ex-FIFA executive

Swiss open corruption probe against PSG's Al-Khelaifi and ex-FIFA executive

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.

Al-Khelaifi is alleged to have offered "undue advantages" to Valcke - FIFA's CEO-like secretary general from 2007 until his firing in January 2016 - for the award of media rights in "certain countries" for the 2026 and 2030 World Cup.

Swiss prosecutors have opened a bribery case against Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the president of PSG, and Jerome Valcke, a former Federation Internationale de Football Association executive.

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.

His involvement is a direct link to Qatar, host of the 2022 World Cup, in investigations led by the United States and Swiss into football corruption.

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Valcke, under a separate investigation by Swiss authorities for criminal mismanagement since 2016, was questioned as a suspect on Thursday and properties searched in France, Greece, Italy and Spain.

In a statement issued Thursday, the OAG said new proceedings have been opened "primarily on the basis of findings obtained by the OAG in this earlier proceeding".

Valcke was Fifa's chief executive-like secretary general under then-president Sepp Blatter from 2007 until he was sacked in January 2016.

Al-Khelaifi, 43, was appointed PSG chairman and chief executive in 2011 and was instrumental in the French club's acquisition of Neymar from Barcelona in August for a world record fee.

Valcke is now serving a 10-year suspension for his alleged involvement in a scheme to profit from World Cup ticket sales.

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