PSG President Nasser Al-Khelaifi Acquitted, Jerome Valcke Given Suspended Sentence In TV Rights Trial

PSG President Nasser Al-Khelaifi Acquitted, Jerome Valcke Given Suspended Sentence In TV Rights Trial


Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi was on Friday acquitted by a Swiss court docket of corruption over the allocation of World Cup TV rights, whereas former FIFA quantity two Jerome Valcke was handed a suspended 120-day sentence for a secondary cost and fined 1.65 million euros ($1.92 million). Al-Khelaifi, the chairman of beIN Media, was cleared of inciting aggravated prison mismanagement, with Valcke discovered responsible of a separate cost of forging paperwork associated to the attribution of Italian and Greek World Cup TV rights.

Valcke was ordered to pay 1.65 million euros in compensation to FIFA, together with 400,000 euros in the primary case, in addition to 80,000 Swiss francs ($87,000) in authorized prices.

“The defendants obtain a yellow card, however no extra”, concluded the president of the court docket, Stephan Zenger.

A delighted Marc Bonnant, considered one of Al-Khelaifi’s attorneys, was overheard to say outdoors the court docket that that they had “debagged” the prosecution.

Prosecutors had referred to as for a jail time period of three years for Valcke and a 28-month sentence for Al-Khelaifi following 10 days of hearings on the Swiss Federal Felony Courtroom of Bellinzona in September.

Additionally they requested 30 months for Greek businessman Dinos Deris — with partial suspension in all three circumstances. Deris was discovered not responsible on Friday on a cost of “non-public corruption”.

It was the primary judgement handed down in Switzerland, the seat of most worldwide sports activities organisations, within the 20 or so proceedings opened within the final 5 years involving FIFA.

Two former Latin American soccer leaders have been jailed in the USA.

“After a relentless four-year marketing campaign in opposition to me that ignored the fundamental info and the regulation at each flip, I’ve lastly, totally and fully cleared my title. At this time’s verdict is a complete vindication,” Al-Khelaifi mentioned in an announcement.

“It restores my religion within the rule of regulation and in due course of, after 4 years of baseless allegations, fictitious costs and fixed smears of my popularity – all of which have been confirmed to be fully and wholly unsubstantiated.”

“I can now commit all my power to my varied roles, that are all targeted on constructing a optimistic future for world sport – at a time when the business wants sturdy management probably the most,” he added.

Valcke, the previous right-hand man of disgraced FIFA president Sepp Blatter, and Al-Khelaifi had been accused of a “corrupt settlement” over Qatari-owned broadcaster beIN’s extension of its media rights in North Africa and the Center East for the 2026 and 2030 World Cups.

Luxurious villa in query

The general public prosecutor’s workplace mentioned Valcke sought the Qatari’s assist in the summertime of 2003 to purchase a luxurious villa in Sardinia, at a time when beIN was negotiating the extension.

The prosecutor mentioned Al-Khelaifi acquired the home for 5 million euros ($5.85 million), by way of an organization that was transferred nearly instantly to the brother of considered one of his shut collaborators, earlier than it was made accessible to Valcke.

The 2 males denied wrongdoing and mentioned the deal was a “non-public” association, unrelated to the contract concluded by beIN with FIFA in April 2014.

The prosecution mentioned Valcke dedicated to “do what was in his energy” to make sure beIN would win the contract and may have declared the Villa Bianca deal to his employers.

They mentioned he had been pressured by Al-Khelaifi to wreck FIFA’s pursuits illegally.

The defendants had argued the deal, which FIFA has by no means tried to undo, was “golden” and “elegant” for the reason that $480 million {dollars} beIN paid for the 2 World Cups was 60% greater than for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, when it confronted no competitors.

“Nothing signifies FIFA might have obtained a extra advantageous contract,” the court docket mentioned in its ruling.

Swiss prosecutors dropped a cost of corruption earlier than the case reached trial due to an out-of-court settlement in January between Al-Khelaifi and FIFA, which then withdrew its criticism in opposition to him.


Valcke, at the moment serving a 10-year ban from soccer, additionally stood accused of receiving kickbacks totalling 1.25 million euros from Deris, in three funds from Liechtenstein, to affect the awarding of media rights for Italy and Greece for World Cups and different tournaments between 2018 and 2030.

He was cleared of probably the most critical costs of accepting bribes and aggravated prison mismanagement however was handed a suspended jail sentence for forgery.

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