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Italian luxury villa seized in FIFA, World Cup bribery case

13 Octubre 2017

The Swiss attorney general's office (OAG) announced on Thursday that both Valcke and Al-Khelaifi were under investigation over those media rights, per the Guardian's David Conn.

It said it was "suspected that Jerome Valcke accepted undue advantages from a businessman in the sports rights sector in connection with the award of media rights for certain countries at the FIFA World Cups in 2018, 2022, 2026 and 2030 and from Nasser Al-Khelaifi in connection with the award of media rights for certain countries at the FIFA World Cups in 2026 and 2030".

Swiss prosecutors have opened a criminal proceeding against former FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke and Qatar's beIN Media Chief Executive Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the latest escalation in their ongoing investigation into corruption in soccer.

The world football body's Ethics Commission "opened a preliminary investigation into Nasser al-Khelaifi on Thursday evening", a FIFA spokesman said. I have never done that. "There was never any exchange between Nasser and I. Never".

Al-Khelaifi was not present Thursday when the Paris offices of BeIN were raided by French authorities joined by Swiss investigators.

Al-Khelaifi has served as president and chairman of PSG since 2011-the year the club was purchased by Qatar Sports Investments (QSI)-during which time they have largely dominated French football. The Independent's Luke Brown reported this summer's extravagant spending of more than £200 million on world-record signing Neymar, as well as the future £166 million purchase of Kylian Mbappe, could breach Financial Fair Play rules.

beIN Sports, formerly Al-Jazeera Sports, is one of the most powerful broadcasters in world football, owning broadcast rights across the Middle East and North Africa including for Champions League and European Championship matches. BBC Sport explained United States prosecutors alleged Valcke had knowledge of a $10 million bribe to secure the 2010 World Cup for South Africa.

"The new proceeding has been opened primarily on the basis of findings obtained by the OAG in the earlier proceeding", the statement read.

After being sacked from his post in January 2016, he was initially banned for 12 years, which was reduced to 10 by FIFA's own appeal committee last June.

Italian luxury villa seized in FIFA, World Cup bribery case