PSG Chairman Subject of Criminal Investigation Over World Cup Bribery Claims

Paris Saint-Germain chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi subject of criminal proceedings

Switzerland has opened a criminal probe targeting Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the president of Paris Saint-Germain, and FIFA's former secretary general Jerome Valcke, over alleged corruption in the sale of World Cup media rights.

Qatari television executive Nasser al-Khelaifi is under investigation on suspicion of paying bribes to the former No. 2 official in world soccer in exchange for World Cup media rights, according to the Swiss attorney general.

Last year, The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) said it was investigating Valcke for "various acts of criminal mismanagement".

The Paris offices of BeIN Sports were searched on Thursday as part of a criminal probe against Valcke and Al-Khelaifi, French authorities said.

Valcke - who was interviewed on Thursday - is now in the process of appealing against his 10-year ban from football at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

"The company will fully co-operated with the authorities and is confident as to the future development of this investigation".

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Al-Khelaifi and Valcke previously worked on a deal for the 2018 and 2022 rights weeks after Qatar won the 2022 hosting vote.

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) as it targeted a first Champions League title.

In addition to his other roles, he's chairman of Qatar Sports Investments, an arm of the state's investment fund.

On Wednesday, Valcke said his reputation had been destroyed by his ten-year ban from football as he appeared before a hearing to overturn the punishment at sport's highest appeal court, the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne.

Valcke was FIFA's secretary general under then-president Sepp Blatter from 2007 until he was sacked in January 2016. The scandal unseated top leaders at FIFA, whose full name is the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, and cast a shadow over the World Cup, the planet's most popular sporting event.

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