Football executives targeted in new Swiss corruption probe
An alleged bribe to former FIFA secretary general Valcke is being investigated by Swiss prosecutors.
A probe into an alleged bribe from Nasser Al-Khelaifi, Qatari businessman with top posts in beIN Media group and Paris Saint-Germain, to former FIFA secretary general Jérôme Valcke has been opened by the Swiss attorney general's office (OAG), said a statement issued Thursday.
The bribe is suspected to have secured beIN Media Group lucrative World Cup broadcasting contracts.
"It is suspected that Jérôme Valcke accepted undue advantages from a businessman in the sports rights sector in connection with the award of media rights for certain countries at the FIFA World Cups in 2018, 2022, 2026 and 2030 and from Nasser Al-Khelaifi in connection with the award of media rights for certain countries at the FIFA World Cups in 2026 and 2030," the Swiss statement says.
Valcke has denied the allegations.
"They say there have been payments from Nasser to me in return for the sale of rights at a preferential rate. But I've received nothing from Nasser. There has never been an exchange between Nasser and me. Never," Valcke said in French newspaper L'Equipe, reported AFP.
Also beIN Media Group has denied wrongdoing.
"beIN Media Group refutes all accusations made by OAG. The company will fully cooperate with the authorities and is confident as to the future developments of this investigation," the Qatari broadcaster said in a statement, writes AFP.