Swiss prosecutors have opened criminal proceedings against Paris Saint-Germain chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi over the sale of sale of World Cup TV rights.
The proceedings are connected to an ongoing investigation into former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke, and relate to the sale of World Cup TV rights to Qatar’s BeIN Sports, of which Al-Khelaifi is also chief executive.
The Paris offices of BeIN Sports were searched on Thursday as part of a criminal probe against Valcke, which is part of FIFA’s ongoing investigation into corruption in football.
The French financial prosecutor’s office issued a statement on Thursday saying that two of its representatives, along with other French officials dealing with anti-corruption and tax avoidance affairs, had carried out the search.
“It is suspected that Jerome Valcke accepted undue advantages from a businessman in the sports rights sector in connection with the award of media rights for certain countries at the FIFA World Cups in 2018, 2022, 2026 and 2030 and from Nasser Al-Khelaifi in connection with the award of media rights for certain countries at the FIFA World Cups in 2026 and 2030,” Switzerland’s Office of the Attorney General (OAG) said on Thursday, Reuters reported.
It added that the operation had been carried out in conjunction with the EuroJust body and Swiss authorities.
In March last year, the OAG said Valcke was suspected of criminal mismanagement and other offences. He has denied any wrongdoing.