Criminal Proceedings Against PSG Chief Al-Khelaifi

Swiss Investigate Corruption

Nasser Al-Khelaifi PSG
Image: Aisha Sahukar

Prosecutors in Switzerland have opened criminal proceedings against BeIn Media chief executive and chairman of Paris Saint-Germain, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, and former FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke.

The news comes as part of an investigation into corruption by the Swiss authorities over the award of the World Cup finals in 2018 and 2022.

In a statement on Thursday, the Office of the Attorney-General in Switzerland said that it “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”.

The OAG added that the inquiry is being carried out alongside authorities in France, Spain, Italy and Greece. Valcke is currently appealing a ten-year Fifa ban that was handed down to him earlier this year. It is believed that he was interviewed in Switzerland on Thursday.

Al-Khelaifi has become a main player in European football through his position at PSG. But his dealings at club level have not been without controversy. The €222million purchase this summer of Neymar from Barcelona was criticised as being outside Uefa’s Financial Fair Play rules. That’s despite the organisers of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar paying PSG €300million to use Neymar as a global ambassador for the event.

PSG followed up the signing of Neymar with another controversial transfer, that of Kylian Mbappe. The 18-year-old was signed on loan from Monaco for the season. However, PSG have an option to purchase the France international for €180million next summer. Their summer transfer dealings are being investigated by Uefa.