PSG Chairman Subject of Criminal Investigation Over World Cup Bribery Claims

PSG Chairman Subject of Criminal Investigation Over World Cup Bribery Claims”

Switzerland has opened a criminal probe targeting Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the president of Paris Saint-Germain, and FIFA's former secretary general Jerome Valcke, over alleged corruption in the sale of World Cup media rights.

Valcke was alleged to have received "undue advantages" from the businessman, who was not identified, to award "media rights for certain countries" for four World Cups from 2018 through 2030.

Prosecutors claim that Valcke accepted the bribes from Al-Khelaifi with the intention of awarding media rights to "certain countries" for the World Cups due to be held in 2026 and 2030.

Swiss prosecutors said Valcke was questioned on Thursday and properties were searched in France, Greece, Italy and Spain.

Swiss prosecutors said the action was carried out with Eurojust, a European Union agency for co-operation in criminal matters.

"As it announced in March 2016, the OAG (Swiss Attorney General) is already conducting a proceeding against Jerome Valcke, in particular on suspicion of various acts of criminal mismanagement".

The 43-year-old Al-Khelaifi was appointed chairman and chief executive of PSG in 2011 shortly after the club's buyout by a Qatari-led consortium.

Valcke, a French national, was in Switzerland on Wednesday arguing an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, where he was trying to overturn his 10-year ban from football over graft.

Valcke was sacked by Federation Internationale de Football Association in January 2016 in connection with affairs around World Cup tickets and television rights.

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