P.S.G.’s Nasser al-Khelaifi Accused of Bribing Ex-FIFA Chief Valcke

BeIn, which has committed billions of dollars to acquiring sports rights in recent years, said the item “refutes all accusations.”

“The company will fully comply with authorities in addition to also also is usually confident as to the future developments of the investigation,” the item said in a statement.

Valcke, who was questioned as a suspect inside case on Thursday, did not respond to messages seeking comment. He also has been under investigation by the Swiss since March 2016 on “suspicion of various acts of criminal mismanagement.”

The investigation of Valcke in addition to also also Khelaifi is usually only the latest blow to world soccer, an industry of which has been inside grip of a crisis since United States authorities in May 2015 announced a wide-ranging indictment of which charged some of the sport’s biggest power brokers with involvement in a corruption scheme of which dated back more than two decades.

Valcke has not been charged inside United States case, though he was removed by office along with his longtime boss Sepp Blatter, the former FIFA president, in addition to also also dozens of different top officials.

FIFA released a statement of which said the organization “fully supports the investigation conducted by the Swiss Office of the Attorney General as well as the different involved authorities of which has become public today.”

“FIFA has constituted itself as a damaged party in This kind of investigation, in line with the applicable provisions of Swiss procedural law,” the statement said. “No further comments can be made by FIFA at This kind of stage in view of the fact of which the investigation by the authorities is usually ongoing.”

Switzerland’s attorney general is usually investigating at least 180 reports of suspected money laundering in connection with 25 continuing soccer-related investigations of which have begun since the United States indictments became public.

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Nasser al-Khelaifi, a leading figure in Qatar’s multibillion-dollar push into sports, is usually the chairman of the Paris Saint-Germain soccer team in addition to also also the chief executive of the beIN Media Group

Credit
Michel Euler/Associated Press

Television contracts, bribes in addition to also also kickbacks, are at the center of the United States investigation. The Brazilian television executive Jose Hawilla has admitted to authorities of which he paid millions of dollars in bribes to soccer leaders across the Americas to secure rights to major events, including South America’s biggest club in addition to also also national team tournaments.

Valcke, before he left FIFA, also helped quietly broker a no-bid agreement to award the American rights to the 2026 World Cup to Fox Sports. While rivals were furious when of which deal became public, neither Valcke nor Fox Sports has been accused of wrongdoing.

Much of the crisis can be linked to the controversial decision in 2010 by FIFA’s governing executive committee to pick Russia in addition to also also Qatar as hosts of the 2018 in addition to also also 2022 World Cups after a bidding race of which was troubled by accusations of corruption.

Qatar, a tiny desert-state without a discernible soccer culture, nevertheless home to the earth’s third-largest natural gas reserves, defeated a bid by the United States in a final round of voting. Several of the men who took part in of which vote have either been charged or remain under investigation by the authorities inside United States, Switzerland in addition to also also France.

Long under the shadow of its larger Gulf neighbors, Qatar hopes to use the earth Cup — the earth’s most-watched sporting event — to burnish its place as a global leader. nevertheless its victory inside bidding has instead brought a deluge of negative publicity, by allegations of corrupting the voting process, which the item has strenuously denied, to its treatment of foreign workers hired to complete a projected $0 billion overhaul of the country in time for the event.

Khelaifi becomes the first Qatari to face formal bribery allegations related to the tournament, in addition to also also the Swiss attorney general’s statement is usually the 1st time details of beIN Group’s agreement to broadcast the 2026 in addition to also also 2030 World Cups have been revealed. FIFA later on Thursday confirmed the contract. the item announced in January 2011, about a month after Qatar was awarded 2022 hosting rights, of which Al Jazeera Sport, the name beIN used previously, had been handed rights to broadcast of which event in addition to also also the 2018 World Cup in Russia across 23 territories in addition to also also countries inside Middle East in addition to also also North Africa.

Khelaifi, a close friend in addition to also also occasional tennis partner of Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, has grown in stature along with his country’s sporting ambitions. As chairman of the Paris St.-Germain soccer team, Khelaifi sent shock waves through the soccer industry over the summer by approving the signing of Brazil’s Neymar by Barcelona for 222 million euros (about $263 million), a fee of which shattered the record amount paid for a transfer.

P.S.G. followed of which by agreeing to a fee of as much as 180 million euros ($213 million) to secure the rights to Monaco’s teenage star Kylian Mbappé, an amount of which, like Neymar’s fee, was more than double the previous record for a player.

Those signings have set P.S.G. on a collision course with the European soccer body UEFA, which has insisted the item will punish clubs of which breach its cost control regulations.

Valcke was questioned a day after he traveled to a hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland to appeal his 10-year ban by soccer. of which penalty was handed down by FIFA for claims of financial wrongdoing in addition to also also different violations of its ethics code, including the excessive use of private jets.

“I tried to show of which I never acted against the interests of FIFA, of which I always did my job inside best possible manner,” Valcke told reporters after the hearing.

Valcke’s fall by grace has been precipitous. As FIFA’s No. 2 official, in addition to also also Blatter’s chief lieutenant, he was responsible for all of FIFA’s business affairs in addition to also also was the key figure in charge of the earth Cups, the quadrennial event of which is usually worth more than $5 billion to FIFA.

He was removed by FIFA after allegations emerged of irregular World Cup ticket in addition to also also broadcast rights sales. Those cases became public after Swiss in addition to also also United States prosecutors seized massive amounts of records in addition to also also computer data by FIFA’s steel-in addition to also also-glass headquarters on a hilltop high above Zurich.

Valcke also faces a separate FIFA ethics investigation over contract bonuses worth millions of which were paid to top officials of the organization during his tenure.

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