Swiss authorities open proceedings against PSG chief over World Cup rights

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In a statement on Thursday, the OAG said the new proceedings involving Al-Khelaifi had been "opened on the basis" of its findings.

THE SWISS ATTORNEY general's office (OAG) has opened criminal proceedings against Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi and former Federation Internationale de Football Association secretary general Jerome Valcke in connection to the awarding of World Cup media rights for 2026 and 2030.

The investigation concerns alleged bribes offered to the former Federation Internationale de Football Association secretary general, Jérôme Valcke, to award 2026 and 2030 World Cup rights to Qatari-owned BeIN Media Group.

The proceedings relate to an ongoing OAG investigation into Valcke that began in March 2016, which was opened on "suspicion of various acts of criminal mismanagement". He has denied any wrongdoing.

Valcke is now serving a 10-year suspension for his alleged involvement in a scheme to profit from World Cup ticket sales. He filed an appeal to the ban with the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) in February of this year.

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BeIN Sports' office in Paris were searched on Thursday as part of a criminal probe against Valcke and Al-Khelaifi, according to French authorities.

The 43-year-old Al-Khelaifi is chairman of Qatar Sports Investments which has invested heavily in PSG.

He is also the chairman and CEO of BeIN Media Group was spun off from Al Jazeera Media Network, a Qatar-based media company, in December 2013.

Khelaifi, now one of the most powerful figures in European and world football, has been implicated in the Fifa corruption scandals for the first time, accused of bribing Valcke in connection with the award of TV rights for the 2026 and 2030 tournaments, whose hosts have not even been decided yet.

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