Criminal corruption case opened against PSG chief over World Cup TV rights

Jerome Valcke former FIFA secretary general was allegedly offered bribes to secure broadcast rights for the 2026 and 2030 World Cup finals

Jerome Valcke former FIFA secretary general was allegedly offered bribes to secure broadcast rights for the 2026 and 2030 World Cup finals

The office of the Swiss attorney general has opened criminal proceedings against Paris St-Germain chairman Nasser Al Khelaifi and former Federation Internationale de Football Association secretary general Jerome Valcke in relation to World Cup media rights.

Nasser Al-Khelaifi is at the centre of a TV rights deal storm, after Swiss prosecutors opened criminal proceedings against the Paris-Saint Germain chairman.

Valcke was alleged to have received "undue advantages" from the businessman, who was not identified, to award "media rights for certain countries" for four World Cups from 2018 through 2030.

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

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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Agents from Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation & Identification are on the scene processing and collecting evidence. He was pursued by deputies after being spotted at about 12:30 a.m. on State Route 141 near County Road 52.

Valcke - who was interviewed on Thursday - is now in the process of appealing against his 10-year ban from football at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Recent big money transfers of Neymar, from Barcelona, and teenage star Kylian Mbappe from Monaco, have left other prominent clubs and officials in Europe frustrated at the new spending power of the French team.

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".

Valcke was FIFA's secretary general under then-president Sepp Blatter from 2007 until he was sacked in January 2016.

FIFA's former secretary general Jerome Valcke was at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne on Wednesday to appeal his 10-year ban from football.

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