Paris Saint-Germain president and BeIN Sports chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi has been charged with incitement in Switzerland over his role in the awarding of FIFA World Cup rights.
Rob Harris of the Associated Press reported the news:
Former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke has also been charged with accepting bribes, aggravated criminal mismanagement and falsification of documents:
Al-Khelaifi has responded to the charges:
Rob Harris @RobHarris
Nasser Al-Khelaifi on Swiss case: “I have been cleared of all suspicions of bribery and the case has been dismissed definitively & conclusively. While a secondary technical charge remains outstanding, I have every expectation that this will be proven completely groundless“ https://t.co/CT8LcdcGIY
According to AS, Al-Khelaifi is accused of buying a villa in Sardinia, Italy, and letting Valcke stay in it over 18 months without paying rent, saving him somewhere between €900,000 and €1.8 million. The charge states he gave Valcke "undue advantages" before his suspension and subsequent banishment from FIFA.
A third person was also charged for allegedly making three payments worth €1.25 million to Valcke.
Harris shared more details, including an agreement between FIFA and Al-Khelaifi to withdraw a criminal complaint in January:
Al-Khelaifi has been one of the leading figures in Qatar's push into sports as the chairman of the BeIN Media Group and Qatar Sports Investments. He's also the president of PSG and the nation's tennis federation, as well as a delegate on the UEFA executive committee.
Valcke was the secretary general for FIFA between 2007 and 2015. Per Reuters, he was banned from taking part in football-related activities for 12 years in 2016 for his part in a corruption scandal, though the sanction has since been reduced to 10 years.