Sport World Cup bribery case opened against PSG president, Valcke

19:02  12 october  2017
19:02  12 october  2017 Source:   Associated Press

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GENEVA — The Qatari president of one of Europe’s most glamorous soccer clubs, Paris Saint-Germain, is under investigation by Swiss prosecutors for suspected bribery of a top FIFA executive to get World Cup broadcasting rights.

GENEVA — Swiss federal prosecutors have announced a criminal case for suspected bribery linked to World Cup broadcast rights against Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the Qatari The case stemmed from a wider investigation of FIFA’s business that saw criminal proceedings opened against Valcke in March 2016.

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BERN, Switzerland — Swiss federal prosecutors have announced a criminal case for suspected bribery linked to World Cup broadcast rights against Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the Qatari president of Paris Saint-Germain.

Swiss federal prosecutors have announced a criminal case for suspected bribery linked to World Cup broadcast rights against Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the Qatari president of Paris Saint-Germain. The investigation concerns alleged bribes offered to former Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke to

GENEVA — The Qatari president of one of Europe's most glamorous soccer clubs, Paris Saint-Germain, is under investigation by Swiss prosecutors for suspected bribery of a top FIFA executive to get World Cup broadcasting rights.

Criminal proceedings against Nasser Al-Khelaifi, PSG president and CEO of Qatar-owned BeIN Media Group, former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke, and an unnamed "businessman in the sports rights sector" was announced by the office of Switzerland's attorney general on Thursday.

The case involves the award of broadcast rights for the next four World Cups from 2018 through 2030.

The proceeding against Al-Khelaifi is one of the first direct links to Qatar in sweeping investigations by federal law enforcement authorities in Switzerland, the United States, and France of FIFA, international soccer, and the 2018-2022 World Cup bidding contests.

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Criminal proceedings against Nasser Al-Khelaifi, PSG president and CEO of Qatar-owned BeIN Media Group, former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke , and The latest case stemming from the wider investigation of FIFA's business also saw criminal proceedings opened against Valcke in March 2016.

The Paris offices of BeIN Sports were searched by two magistrates from the French financial prosecutor's office, the federal agency said. They were assisted by investigators from an anti-corruption unit.

Properties were also searched in Greece, Italy, and Spain while Valcke was questioned in Switzerland, the Swiss federal prosecution office said. It cited cooperation from a European Union criminal investigation agency.

"Multiple premises were searched, assets were seized and interviews were conducted as a result of this joint operation," the EU body known as Eurojust said in a statement.

PSG declined to comment.

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

Then, FIFA gave the Swiss federal office a report and evidence from its then-ethics prosecutor — former U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia — into the dual World Cup bidding contest won by Russia and Qatar.

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Switzerland’s attorney general says the investigation concerns alleged bribes offered to former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke to award 2026 and 2030 World Cup rights to Qatari-owned BeIN Media Group, which Nasser Al-Khelaifi is the chief executive officer of.

Swiss federal prosecutors have announced a criminal case for suspected bribery linked to World Cup broadcast rights against PSG 's Nasser Al-Khelaifi. Swiss prosecutors say Valcke was questioned on Thursday and properties were searched in France, Greece, Italy and Spain.

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.

Al-Khelaifi and Valcke previously negotiated a deal for the 2018 and 2022 rights weeks after Qatar won the 2022 hosting vote. In January 2011, FIFA announced that Al Jazeera Sports — which later became BeIN — secured the rights for 23 territories across the Middle East and North Africa, including Saudi Arabia.

FIFA has never announced if BeIN also secured any 2026 and 2030 World Cup rights.

Swiss prosecutors also allege Valcke received "undue advantages" from a businessman who was not identified to award certain media rights for four World Cups from 2018 through 2030.

The criminal proceeding was opened on March 20, but announced only on Thursday, the Swiss federal office said.

Al-Khelaifi's profile has risen in recent weeks as PSG pursued and sealed a world record transfer of Brazil star Neymar from Barcelona for 222 million euros ($260 million).

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Swiss prosecutors have opened a criminal proceeding against former FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke and Qatar's beIN Media Chief Executive Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the latest escalation in their ongoing investigation into corruption in soccer.

Swiss federal prosecutors have announced a criminal case for suspected bribery linked to World Cup broadcast rights against PSG 's Nasser Al-Khelaifi. The case stemmed from a wider investigation of FIFA's business that saw criminal proceedings opened against Valcke in March 2016.

Since FIFA's much-discredited executive committee picked Russia and Qatar in December 2010, the gas-rich emirate has bought up PSG with sovereign wealth and installed Al-Khelaifi as president. BeIN has also acquired a broad portfolio of rights including from European soccer body UEFA for the Champions League and national team matches.

The latest case stemming from the wider investigation of FIFA's business also saw criminal proceedings opened against Valcke in March 2016.

Valcke was the right-hand man to then-FIFA president Sepp Blatter for more than eight years until a swathe of senior executives at soccer's world body were removed from office in fallout from a U.S. Department of Justice indictment revealed in May 2015.

Valcke, a French former TV presenter, was in Switzerland on Wednesday to testify at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in his appeal hearing against a 10-year ban by FIFA for financial wrongdoing and abuse of expenses.

FIFA said on Thursday it "fully supports the investigation" by Swiss and other authorities.

"FIFA has constituted itself as a damaged party in this investigation," the Zurich-based organization said.

FIFA is seeking a share of more than $200 million held by the U.S. Department of Justice which secured forfeits from soccer and marketing officials in its ongoing investigation. The DoJ has indicted or secured guilty pleas from more than 40 people.


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Source: http://us.pressfrom.com/news/sports/-91152-world-cup-bribery-case-opened-against-psg-president-valcke/

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