• Sunday, May 26, 2024
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PSG President Nasser Al-Khelaifi free from corruption charges

Nasser Al-Khelaifi

President of Lique 1 side Paris St-Germain (PSG), Nasser Al-Khelaifi, has been cleared of corruption charges after a trial in Switzerland.

Al-Khelaifi had been charged in a case relating to beIN Media Group’s allocation of television rights for the 2026 and 2030 World Cups.

The case also involved ex-FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke, who was found guilty of forging documents relating to separate media rights and given a 120-day suspended prison sentence.

Al-Khelaifi, who is also chairman of the BeIN media group, had been accused of giving gifts to former Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke, in order to secure broadcast rights for the 2026 and 2030 World Cups.

Valcke was found guilty of forging documents relating to TV rights.

He was given a 120-day suspended sentence.

The Frenchman was also ordered to pay Fifa about 1.65m euros (£1.48m) in restitution.

Valcke was cleared of accepting bribes and criminal mismanagement after a trial at the Swiss Federal Criminal Court. Prosecutors had called for a three-year prison sentence.

Al-Khelaifi had been charged with inciting Valcke to commit aggravated criminal mismanagement in connection with his role with BeIN Sports.

A statement from PSG Al-Khelaifi, who is also part of UEFA’s executive committee, read: “Today’s verdict is a total vindication.

“After a relentless four-year campaign against me that ignored the basic facts and the law at every turn, I have finally, fully and completely cleared my name.

“It restores my faith in the rule of law and in due process, after four years of baseless allegations, fictitious charges and constant smears of my reputation – all of which have been proven to be completely and wholly unsubstantiated.”

He added: “I can now devote all my energy to my various roles, which are all focused on building a positive future for world sport – at a time when the industry needs strong leadership the most.”

Valcke, ex-Fifa president Sepp Blatter’s former right-hand man, was banned from football for 10 years in 2016 for a series of alleged breaches of the governing body’s code of ethics related to the resale of World Cup tickets, bribery and failure to co-operate with investigators.

He lost an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) in 2018.