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

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

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

The proceedings relate to the sale of World Cup TV rights to BeIn Sports, where Al-Khelaifi is chief executive, and are connected to the ongoing investigation into former Federation Internationale de Football Association secretary general Jerome Valcke.

Prosecutors claim that Valcke accepted the bribes from Al-Khelaifi with the intention of awarding media rights to "certain countries" for the World Cups due to be held in 2026 and 2030.

The case stemmed from a wider investigation of Fifa's business that saw criminal proceedings opened against Valcke in March 2016. He has denied any wrongdoing.

"beIN Media Group refutes all accusations made by OAG".

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The Paris offices of BeIN Sports were searched on Thursday as part of a criminal probe against Valcke and Al-Khelaifi, French authorities said.

Federation Internationale de Football Association said on Thursday it "fully supports the investigation" by Swiss and other authorities.

Valcke is suspected of "accepting undue advantages" in connection to the sale of media rights for the World Cups in 2018, 2022, 2026 and 2030.

Valcke, under a separate investigation by Swiss authorities for criminal mismanagement since 2016, was questioned as a suspect on Thursday and properties searched in France, Greece, Italy and Spain.

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While Valcke was being questioned, authorities in France, Greece, Italy and Spain searched "properties" as part of the probe, Swiss prosecutors said, adding that no suspect in the case was now in custody.

Since FIFA's much-discredited executive committee picked Russian Federation and Qatar in December 2010, the gas-rich emirate has bought up PSG with sovereign wealth and installed Al-Khelaifi as president. He became the chairman and chief executive officer of the French club, who broke the world transfer record to sign Neymar earlier this year, four months later.

Valcke was the right-hand man to disgraced former Federation Internationale de Football Association president Sepp Blatter, before being banned for 10 years over an alleged ticket scam at the 2014 World Cup.

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