Swiss open criminal case against ex-FIFA official Valcke, beIN CEO

The OAG statement disclosed it was "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 investigation concerns alleged bribes offered to Jérôme Valcke, the former Fifa secretary general, to award the 2026 and 2030 World Cup rights to the Qatari-owned beIN Media Group, of which Al-Khelaifi is chairman.

According to newspaper The Telegraph, the OAG said that, to date, it had received 180 money laundering reports regarding football investigations and was conducting 25 criminal proceedings.

The probe, which is the latest in a series of corruption scandals involving FIFA and World Football in the last two years, included searches in several places, including the Parisian offices of the Qatari network, whose chairman also chairs the French Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) club.

"I refute the accusations against me or Nasser". I have never received anything in exchange for anything. "There was never any exchange between Nasser and I. Never". "The presumption of innocence applies".

The OAG said the case developed from the initial proceedings against Valcke, who on Wednesday testified at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in his appeal against a 10-year ban from football imposed by FIFA. Swiss federal prosecutors have announced Thursday Oct.12, 2017 a criminal case for suspected bribery linked to World Cup broadcast rights against Nasser Al-Khelaifi.

It added: "The company will fully cooperate with the authorities and is confident as to the future developments of this investigation".

The Frenchman was found guilty of a series of breaches of FIFA's code of ethics and was sacked in January 2016, though he has always denied any wrongdoing. The FIFA executive was accused of attempting to sell World Cup television rights below their market value, abuse of travel expenses and destruction of evidence.

  • Gilberto Valderrama