A criminal case for suspected bribery linked to World Cup broadcast rights is being pursued against Nasser Al Khelaifi, the Qatari president of Paris St Germain, Swiss federal prosecutors have announced.
The latest proceeding in a broader Swiss investigation of Federation Internationale de Football Association is against "Jerome Valcke, the chief executive officer of the BeIN Media Group LLC Nasser Al Khelaifi, and a businessman in the sports rights sector", federal prosecutors said on Thursday.
Swiss federal prosecutors announced on Thursday they are investigating suspected bribes offered to former Federation Internationale de Football Association secretary general Jerome Valcke to award the broadcast rights for the 2026 and 2030 World Cup to Qatari-owned BeIN Media Group, where Nasser Al-Khelaifi (pictured, left) is the chief executive.
The European Union's Judicial Cooperation Unit (EUROJUST) said "multiple premises were searched, assets were seized and interviews were conducted as a result of this joint operation".
Al-Khelaifi and Valcke previously negotiated a deal for the 2018 and 2022 rights weeks after Qatar won the 2022 hosting vote.
The charges relate to the awarding of media rights to the 2018, 2022, 2026 and 2030 World Cups in his capacity as chairman in of BEIN media group.
Partly cloudy, cooler Thursday; Sunny Friday
A few showers possible Friday afternoon, otherwise mostly sunny and just a touch warmer with highs in the mid to upper 80s. Nothing big - showers should be scattered, and rainfall totals should remain below a tenth of an inch.
In March a year ago, the OAG said Valcke was suspected of criminal mismanagement and other offences.
Al-Khelaifi, 43, was appointed PSG chairman and chief executive in 2011 and was instrumental in the French club's acquisition of Neymar from Barcelona in August for a world record fee.
Since FIFA's much-discredited executive committee picked Russian Federation and Qatar in December 2010, the gas-rich emirate has bought up PSG with sovereign wealth and installed Al-Khelaifi as president.
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.
"FIFA has constituted itself as a damaged party in this investigation", the Zurich-based organization said. The DoJ has indicted or secured guilty pleas from more than 40 people.