Swiss authorities open proceedings against PSG chief over World Cup rights

Swiss open criminal case against ex-FIFA official Valcke, beIN CEO

PSG Chairman Subject of Criminal Investigation Over World Cup Bribery Claims

Swiss prosecutors have opened criminal proceedings against Paris St-Germain's chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi over the sale of World Cup TV rights. They were assisted by investigators from an anti-corruption unit.

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

No suspect was detained on Thursday, said Swiss prosecutors whose work investigating Federation Internationale de Football Association and suspected money laundering linked to World Cup hosting bids began in November 2014.

The charges were filed by the office of the Attorney General of Switzerland.

The new proceedings have arisen from an ongoing investigation into Valcke for alleged acts of "criminal mismanagement" concerning the awarding of World Cup media rights to certain countries.

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Al-Khelaifi and Valcke previously negotiated a deal for the 2018 and 2022 rights weeks after Qatar won the 2022 hosting vote. The investigation concerns the awarding of broadcast rights to BeIN Media Group.

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

In March past year, the OAG said Valcke was suspected of criminal mismanagement and other offences. He became the chairman and chief executive officer of the French club, who broke the world transfer record to sign Neymar earlier this year, four months later.

Findings obtained in that process have led to a separate line of inquiry involving PSG president Al-Khelaifi. BeIN has also acquired a broad portfolio of rights including from European soccer body UEFA for the Champions League and national team matches.

Valcke, who worked for FIFA between 2007 and 2015, is now serving a 10-year ban from football - issued by the FIFA Appeal Committee in June 2016 - after being embroiled in the corruption scandal that hit football's governing body in 2015.

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