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

12 October 2017

The latest proceeding in a broader Swiss investigation of Federation Internationale de Football Association is against 'Jerome Valcke, the chief executive officer of the BeIN Media Group LLC Nasser Al-Khelaifi, and a businessman in the sports rights sector, ' federal prosecutors said.

The Swiss Office of the Attorney General (OAG) said it had begun the investigation in March into Valcke, Al-Khelaifi - who is also CEO and chairman of Paris Saint-Germain soccer team - and an unnamed businessman in the sports-rights sector.

Al-Khelaifi, chief executive officer of the Qatari beIN Media Group and chairman of Ligue 1 leaders PSG, is suspected of giving "undue advantages" to Jerome Valcke, the former secretary general of global football governing body FIFA, in connection to media rights for the 2026 and 2030 World Cups.

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The 2018 and 2022 World Cup will be played in Russian Federation and Qatar respectively, while the 2026 and 2030 tournaments have not yet been awarded.

French prosecutors said they had searched beIN's offices in Paris on Thursday.

While Valcke was being questioned, authorities in France, Greece, Italy and Spain searched "properties" as part of the probe, the Swiss prosecutors said.

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Al-Khelaifi is a key member of the organising committee for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar and was described by French newspaper L'Equipe as "the most powerful man in French football".

The case stemmed from a wider investigation of FIFA's business that saw criminal proceedings opened against Valcke in March 2016.

Valcke, who worked for FIFA between 2007 and 2015, is now serving a 10-year ban from football - issued by the FIFA Appeal Committee in June 2016 - after being embroiled in the corruption scandal that hit football's governing body in 2015.

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