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Fifagate: Nasser al-Khelaïfi summoned to appeal at the end of January in Switzerland


The Swiss prosecution appealed against the acquittal, in October 2020, of Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, boss of BeIN Media and PSG, in a case of

Nasser Al-Khelaïfi is again summoned to court.

As the newspaper L'Equipe reported on Wednesday, his appeal trial in a Fifagate case will take place from January 31 to February 4 before the Federal Criminal Court (TPF) in Bellinzona (Switzerland).

Prosecuted for "instigation of aggravated unfair management" in the granting of TV rights for the 2026 and 2030 World Cups, the Qatari leader was acquitted at the end of October 2020 at first instance.

Reserve dates for this second hearing are being considered in the week of March 7 to 11.

In summary, the Swiss prosecution suspects him of having incited Jérôme Valcke, ex-secretary general of Fifa and main defendant in the case, not to declare undue advantages.

The prosecution had requested 28 months in prison against the leader of the PSG, including 14 to 22 months suspended.

According to him, Jérôme Valcke had monetized his support for beIN in exchange for "the exclusive use" of a luxury villa on the Sardinian Emerald Coast, bought for him 5 million euros at the end of 2013 by a company briefly owned by Nasser Al-Khelaïfi.

Read alsoFifagate: what to remember from the trial of Nasser Al-Khelaïfi

The former secretary general of Fifa admitted in the first instance to have requested the assistance of the Qatari leader to finance the "Villa Bianca", a few months before the signing in April 2014 of a contract between beIN and the football body on on rights in North Africa and the Middle East of the 2026 and 2030 Worlds.

Prove that FIFA has been wronged

But for the defendants, these two episodes have "nothing to do": they both evoked a "private" arrangement, ensuring that paying bribes would have made no sense since beIN , the only one in contention, paid a very high amount of which Fifa has never complained.

In their civil judgment, the magistrates had qualified as a “bribe” the deposit for the residence reimbursed by Nasser Al-Khelaïfi to Jérôme Valcke. They therefore ordered the latter to return it to his former employer. But in criminal matters, the court could not convict for "private corruption", FIFA having withdrawn its complaint in January 2020 after an agreement with Al-Khelaïfi, the terms of which were never made public and amounting to nearly 'one million euros according to The Times.

There remains therefore the accusation of "unfair management", which requires proving that the agreement between the two men has harmed the world institution.

However, "nothing indicates that Fifa could have obtained a more advantageous contract" than the one signed with BeIN for 480 million dollars (400 million euros) for two World Cups, or 60% more than for the 2018 Worlds and 2022, the court ruled at first instance.

Source: leparis

All sports articles on 2021-11-25

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