— Published 7 March 2022

Valcke and Al Khelaïfi return to court

The soap opera continues. But it is struggling to maintain interest. Nasser Al Khelaïfi, the boss of the Qatari audiovisual group beIN Media and of Paris SG, and Jérôme Valcke (photo above), the former number 2 of FIFA, will appear once again before the Swiss justice system, starting this Monday 7 March. They were acquitted in the first instance before the Federal Court of Bellinzona, in the autumn of 2020, in a case involving television rights. They were accused of having concluded a secret pact, according to which Nasser Al-Khelaïfi would have contributed to the financing of a villa in Sardinia bought by Jérôme Valcke, in exchange for the guarantee of obtaining the broadcasting rights for the 2026 and 2030 football World Cup in North Africa and the Middle East. During the first trial, in September 2020, the prosecution had requested 28 months in prison against the Qatari leader and three years against the Frenchman. However, as FIFA withdrew its complaint, the Swiss court was unable to convict the two men of “private corruption”. The only remaining charge is that of “unfair management”, based on the fact that the agreement between the two men would have harmed FIFA. This will be tried from Monday, although it is not certain that the two men will appear in person in the Swiss court.