PSG chairman, Al-Khelaifi under criminal investigation over World Cup bribery

French former FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke looks on outside the Court of Arbitration for Sport prior to his appeal over his 10-year ban from football

Valcke was banned from football for 10 years for his alleged involvement in a scheme to profit from World Cup ticket sales.

The investigation concerns alleged bribes offered to Jerome Valcke, the former Fifa secretary general, to award the 2026 and 2030 World Cup rights to the Qatari-owned beIN Media Group, of which Khelaifi is chairman.

In a statement on Thursday, the OAG said the new proceedings involving Al-Khelaifi had been "opened on the basis" of its findings.

The proceedings are connected to an ongoing investigation into Valcke and relate to the sale of World Cup TV rights to Bein Sports, of which Al-Khelaifi is chief executive.

The villa was seized from an unnamed international property company in connection with crimes including fraud, corruption and forging documents, the finance police from the Sardinian city of Sassari said in a statement.

Italian police, who searched the villa Thursday, said Khelaifi had used the property as "a means of corruption".

A Sardinian villa valued at €7m (£6.2m) was allegedly how Nasser al-Khelaifi, the Paris Saint-Germain chairman, bribed a top Fifa official. The employees on site co-operated with the authorities until the end of the search. The FIFA executive was accused of attempting to sell World Cup television rights below their market value, abuse of travel expenses and destruction of evidence. He has denied wrongdoing and is now appealing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Swiss prosecutors allege Valcke received "undue advantages" from a businessman who was not identified - and from Al-Khelaifi.

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

According to the OAG, Valcke is also suspected of accepting advantages from the businessman for rights to the 2018, 2022, 2026 and 2030 editions.

"We can confirm that the Investigatory Chamber of the independent Ethics Committee will initiate a preliminary investigation into the matter", the spokesman said.

The club, which was bought by Qatar Sports Investments in 2011, is not implicated in the Swiss investigation. A police video showed a sequestration order on the villa's fine wooden gate, palm trees in a well-kept garden and a white house with a Spanish-style roof.



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