The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland has charged Paris Saint-Germain President and BeIN Sports chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi with incitement over his role in the awarding of FIFA World Cup rights.
Former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke has also been charged with accepting bribes, aggravated criminal mismanagement and falsification of documents. The PSG President Nasser Al-Khelaifi is alleged to have incited Valcke to commit “aggravated criminal mismanagement”.
Notably, Nasser Al-Khelaifi is part of the UEFA Executive Committee.
The statement released by the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) reads “The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) has filed an indictment against the former Secretary General of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), Jerôme Valcke, the chairman of the BeIN Media Group, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, and a businessman in the sports rights sector in connection with the award of media rights to various World Cup and FIFA Confederations Cup tournaments.
“The investigations revealed that Valcke had received undue advantages from both co-accused. Valcke was refunded the down payment of around EUR 500’000 that he had made to a third party on the purchase of a villa in Sardinia, after Al-Khelaifi had purchased the villa through a company instead of Valcke. Valcke then received from Al-Khelaifi the exclusive right to use the villa for a period of 18 months – until he was suspended by FIFA – without having to pay an estimated rent in between about EUR 900’000 and about EUR 1.8 mio. From the third accused Valcke received three payments totalling about EUR 1.25 mio to his company Sportunited LLC.
“The charge of criminal mismanagement relates to the fact that Valcke had not reported the mentioned advantages that he received to FIFA, as he was required to do as its Secretary General, thus unlawfully enriching himself. In this context, Al-Khelaifi and the third accused are charged with corresponding incitement.
“In relation to the falsification of documents, Valcke is charged with causing the issuance of untruthful balance sheets for Sportunited LLC in 2013 and 2014, in that he had the three payments from the third accused entered as loans.
“The charges of paying and accepting bribes are based on the allegation that between 2013 and 2015 Valcke exploited his position as Secretary General of FIFA to influence the award of media rights for Italy and Greece for various World Cup and FIFA Confederations Cup tournaments in the period between 2018 and 2030 in order to favour media partners that he preferred. In return, the third accused promised and indeed made the aforementioned three payments to Valcke totalling EUR 1.25 mio.”
The OAG will next make its application at the hearing before the FCC. The statement confirms the accused are presumed innocent until a judgment enters into force.