L’Équipe report that Swiss authorities have begun formally interviewing PSG President Nasser Al Khelaifi today in their case against him regarding possible corruption in acquiring the transmission rights to the 2026 and 2030 World Cups.
Also President of BeIN Sports, Al Khelaifi has been accompanied this morning by his lawyer Grégoire Mangeat. He was heard by Swiss authorities already two years ago for the same case, which concerns who BeIN Sports acquired the exclusive rights to broadcast the 2026 and 2030 World Cups in the Middle East and North Africa.
Prosecutors suspect that Jérôme Valcke was corrupted into giving the rights to BeIN through the gift of a luxury villa in Sardinia.
In order to obtain the rights, BeIN paid €480m to FIFA, a sum that is considerably larger than the amount that they paid to broadcast the 2018 and 2022 editions of the tournament (€300m). It should also be noted that BeIN faces no competitor in the Middle East market at the time, nor did it when they acquired these rights.
A spokesperson for Al Khelaifi had the following to say: “To the extent that this case concerns him, M. Nasser Al-Khelaifi would like to restate that in accordance with FIFA’s official bidding process and all applicable laws, BeIN paid a record amount for these rights as the main broadcaster in the MENA region. Therefore, the allegations against Mr. Al-Khelaifi are not based on any facts.”
Al Khelaifi’s lawyers intend to file for the case’s dismissal within the next week.