A Doppler effect concerning corruption in European football has now heat one of its most influential figures, as Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi faces some serious bribery charges
Less than a week after UEFA suspended Manchester City from European football for two seasons, PSG president, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, has found himself accused of committing a serious offense.
Switzerland authorities have charged the Parisians bigwig for bribing the former FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke, according to the Daily Star.
Although he is suspected of committing a crime outside of his jurisdictions as PSG president, Al-Khelaifi faces serious allegations related to his activities as chairman of the BeIN Media Group.
An official press release from the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland said: “The OAG has charged Valcke with accepting bribes, several counts of aggravated criminal mismanagement.
“Al-Khelaifi and the third accused [a businessman in the sports rights sector] are charged with inciting Valcke to commit aggravated criminal mismanagement.
“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 totaling 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 favor media partners that he preferred.
“In return, the third accused promised and indeed made the aforementioned three payments to Valcke totaling EUR 1.25 mio.
“On the other hand, the suspicion that Valcke accepted a luxury watch that Al-Khelaifi offered him in return for exerting his influence as Secretary General of FIFA was not found to be substantiated.
“As a result, an abandonment of proceedings order in relation to this matter was issued in February 2020.”