A Swiss court has launched a corruption probe against Qatari businessman and chief executive of Paris Saint-Germain, Nasser Al-Khelaifi.
Al-Khelaifi is a key member of the organising committee for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar and has lately been described by French newspaper L’Equipe as “the most powerful man in French football”.
Switzerland’s Office of the Attorney General (OAG) on Thursday said:
“It is suspected that Jerome Valcke accepted undue advantages from a businessman in the sports rights sector in connection with the award of media rights for certain countries at the FIFA World Cups in 2018, 2022, 2026 and 2030 and from Nasser Al-Khelaifi in connection with the award of media rights for certain countries at the FIFA World Cups in 2026 and 2030.”
The Paris offices of beIN Sports were reportedly searched on Thursday morning as part of the ongoing criminal probe levelled against Al-Khelaifi.
A statement released by beIN Media group on Thursday evening reads;
“refuted all accusations” made by OAG.
“The company will fully cooperate with the authorities and is confident as to the future developments of this investigation.”
The French financial prosecutor’s office also issued a statement saying that two of its representatives, along with other French officials dealing with anti-corruption and tax avoidance affairs, had carried out the search at beIN.
It also revealed that the search operation had been carried out in conjunction with the EuroJust body, a European Union agency for cooperation in criminal matters, and Swiss authorities.