BeIN 'refutes all allegations' amid Swiss investigation

BeIN 'refutes all allegations' amid Swiss investigation

Swiss prosecutors open up criminal proceedings against PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi over alleged bribery linked to World Cup broadcast rights.

The chairman of Qatar-owned Paris Saint-Germain and the sports broadcaster beIN, Nasser al-Khelaifi, has been accused in Switzerland of criminally bribing the former Federation Internationale de Football Association secretary general, Jérôme Valcke, to buy World Cup TV rights.

BeIN Sports, whose offices in France were raided by investigators on Thursday morning said it "refutes all accusations" made by the attorney general.

The Paris offices of BeIN Sports were searched on Thursday as part of a criminal probe against Valcke and Al-Khelaifi, French authorities said.

Valcke was interviewed by the attorney general's representatives in Geneva on Thursday "as a suspect", the statement said. "The company will fully cooperate with the authorities and is confident as to the future developments of this investigation", the spokesman said.

PSG have been led by Al-Khelaifi since 2011 following their takeover by Qatar Sports Investments.

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After PSG's offseason spree signed off by Al-Khelaifi, European soccer body UEFA opened its own case into possible violation of soccer-specific rules created to curb excessive spending by clubs on transfer fees and wages.

As it announced in March 2016, the OAG is already conducting a proceeding against Valcke, in particular on suspicion of various acts of criminal mismanagement.

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

The statement from Switzerland's top prosecutor also alleges illegal dealings with "Nasser Al-Khelaifi in connection with the award of media rights for certain countries at the FIFA World Cups in 2026 and 2030".

The OAG said the case developed from the initial proceedings against Valcke, who on Wednesday testified at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in his appeal against a 10-year ban from football imposed by FIFA.

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