The Swiss Federal Criminal Court on Friday, acquitted PSG President Nasser Al-Khelaifi for the second time of the accusations of his accepting bribes and criminal mismanagement to award the World Cup broadcast rights.
Al-Khelaifi, who is also the President of the beIN Media Group, had been under the clouds of suspicion regarding the same over the past few years and was also cleared of the charges during an initial trial in 2020 by the Federal Penal Tribunal, but the Public Ministry of the Confederation then launched an appeal.
“Today’s verdict is a total vindication after a relentless six year campaign by the prosecution which ignored the basic facts and the law at every turn,” the PSG President’s Swiss Council representative said.
“Our client has once again, for a second time, been fully and completely cleared of these baseless allegations, fictitious charges and constant smears have been proven to be completely and wholly substantiated twice.”
Former FIFA Secretary General, Jerome Valcke on the other hand, was convicted and was suspended for 11 months in addition to prison and fine.
Valcke had also been cleared of the charged alongside Al-Khelaifi back in October 2020 after the initial trial by the Federal Penal Tribunal.
The charges centre around the awarding of FIFA broadcasting rights for the 2026 and 2030 edition of World Cups. Valcke had been accused of getting rent-free use of a vacation home in Sardinia bought in 2013 by a Qatari company set up for the purpose of the purchase with Al-Khelaifi’s help.
It was during this time that FIFA were looking to renew the World Cup rights in the Middle East and North Africa region.