PSG Chairman Subject of Criminal Investigation Over World Cup Bribery Claims

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

The new proceedings have arisen from an ongoing investigation into Valcke for alleged acts of "criminal mismanagement" concerning the awarding of World Cup media rights to certain countries.

The proceedings relate to Qatari-owned beIN Media Group, of which Al-Khelaifi is chief executive, being awarded the TV rights for the 2026 and 2030 World Cups.

The businessman is the head of Qatari television network beIN Sports, which was awarded tournament media rights by Federation Internationale de Football Association.

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The case involves the award of broadcast rights for the next four World Cups from 2018 through 2030.

Al-Khelaifi, 43, has been the chairman of Qatar Sports Investiments (QSI) since June 2011, around the same time the investment company acquired Paris Saint-Germain.

The proceeding against Al Khelaifi is one of the first direct links to Qatar in sweeping investigations by authorities in the United States, France and Switzerland of Fifa, worldwide football, and the 2018-2022 World Cup bidding contests.

The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) has also been investigating former Secretary General of FIFA, Jerome Valcke.

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Al Khelaifi's profile has risen in recent weeks as PSG pursued and sealed a world record transfer of Brazil star Neymar from Barcelona for £198 million.

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.

Valcke is now serving a 10-year suspension for his alleged involvement in a scheme to profit from World Cup ticket sales.

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