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corruption Bribery charges brought against ex-FIFA official and PSG president

clapping man

Nasser Al-Khelaifi, at a Paris Saint-Germain game in Basel, November 2016.

(Keystone / Salvatore Di Nolfi)

The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has charged three people including ex-FIFA secretary-general Jérôme Valcke and Paris Saint-Germain boss Nasser Al-Khelaifi.

The case centres on the awarding of media rights for international football tournaments, including the World Cup and the African Confederations Cup, the OAG said on Thursday.

Valcke is charged with accepting bribes as well as on several counts of mismanagement and falsification of documents. Al-Khelaifi – the president of the Paris Saint-Germain football club, chairman of the Qatari BeIN media group, and member of UEFA’s executive board – is being charged for having incited Valcke “to commit aggravated criminal mismanagement”.

A third unnamed businessman, active in the field of sports rights, is being charged along with Al-Khelaifi, the OAG said.

The criminal proceedings were opened in March 2017, with Valcke having been suspected of accepting “undue advantages” in connection with the awarding of media rights for certain countries for the World Cups in 2018, 2022, 2026, and 2030.

In February 2016, world football governing body FIFA had already banned Valcke for 12 years for the fraudulent sale of World Cup tickets, attempting to sell media rights below their market value, lining his own pockets with excessive expenses, and trying to destroy the evidence. This ban was later reduced to 10 years.

Valcke was the right-hand man to former FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who was also caught up in a corruption investigation and then banned from football.

The Frenchman said in 2017 that his reputation had been ruined by the FIFA ban.

Keystone-SDA/Reuters/dos

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