Report: PSG President May Have Violated Regulations in Javier Pastore Transfer

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 15, 2019

Paris Saint-Germain's Qatari president Nasser Al-Khelaifi answers to the press during a press conference to annonce new shirt sponsorship deal with the French multinational Accor at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on February 22, 2019. - PSG will wear on their shirts the logo of ALL, the loyalty program of Accor, one of the largest hotel chains in the world and whose headquarters are located just outside Paris. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)        (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
FRANCK FIFE/Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi may have breached FIFA regulations relating to the payment of Javier Pastore's agent, Marcelo Simonian, when the player signed for the club in 2011. 

The Guardian's Sean Ingle reported as much:

Article seven of FIFA's regulations relating to intermediaries (h/t Ingle) states "any payment for the services of an intermediary shall be made exclusively by the client of the intermediary to the intermediary," meaning a club president cannot pay an agent.

Such action is also in breach of French Football Federation and French Professional Football League regulations, which the bodies confirmed to the Guardian and French outlet Mediapart.

Per Ingle, Al-Khelaifi told French investigative magistrate Renaud Van Ruymbeke he "did not have the signatureI could not order any expense" for Oryx QSI in 2011, a private Qatari company that reportedly claimed £200,000 in expenses relating to the transfer. 

However, the letter, written in Arabic and signed by Al-Khelaifi, was written on the Qatari company's notepaper.

It was addressed to Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa Al Thani, the chief of staff to then crown prince and now Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

Al-Khelaifi wrote the letter was "based on verbal instructions" he had received from Sheikh Tamim "regarding the payment of the commission due to the agent in charge of the player Javier Pastore amounting to €2 million euros in exchange for his transfer from the Italian club of Palermo to Paris Saint-Germain, in addition to the expenses of Oryx QSI, amounting to $200,000."

After supplying details of where to make those payments, the PSG president thanked Sheikh Khalid "for your help and cooperation with us."

In response to the allegations, Al-Khelaifi's legal representatives disputed the authenticity of the documents and said those leading the blockade of Qatar have spread "a huge amount of misleading information and fabricated documentation purportedly referring to the State of Qatar and the activities of various of its citizens."

In May, the PSG president was charged with corruption in relation to other payments made by Oryx QSI in 2011 in relation to hosting the world athletics championships, per the BBC's Dan Roan:

Meanwhile, Simonian said he "did not know" Oryx QSI, and although he had spoken with Al-Khelaifi, he had negotiated the deal taking Pastore from Palermo to PSG with sporting director Leonardo.

He added that he "never asked PSG to be paid" in relation to Pastore's move, but Football Leaks documents suggest that with his knowledge, a colleague of his asked French lawyer Emmanuel Moulin to contact PSG asking for payment.

The same documents also appear to show a positive response from Moulin's law firm that an undisclosed payment from the Ligue 1 club had been made.

Simonian said he has no memory of those events and added: "Neither me nor Emmanuel Moulin have received any commission on the transfer of Pastore. Zero. I could not receive a commission because I was the co-owner of the player."

Moulin denied any wrongdoing "with utmost vigour."

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