Ex-FIFA executive and PSG president investigated in bribery case

Paris Saint-Germain chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi subject of criminal proceedings

Former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke, under investigation in a Swiss criminal corruption probe relating to the sale of World Cup media rights, "disputes all allegations", his lawyer told AFP on Thursday.

Valcke is suspected of accepting bribes paid by the unnamed businessman after awarding the broadcasting rights for the 2018, 2022, 2026 and 2030 World Cups in some countries, according to prosecutors.

The investigation was opened in March and is separate from a probe Switzerland launched against Valcke in March 2016 over alleged criminal mismanagement during his tenure as deputy to FIFA's disgraced former president Sepp Blatter. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Valcke was interviewed by the attorney general's representatives in Geneva on Thursday "as a suspect", the statement said.

"beIN Media Group refutes all accusations made by OAG".

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Nasser Al-Khelaifi is at the centre of a TV rights deal storm, after Swiss prosecutors opened criminal proceedings against the Paris-Saint Germain chairman. "The company will fully cooperate with the authorities and is confident as to the future developments of this investigation", it said in a statement.

Valcke was in Switzerland this week arguing an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, where he was trying to overturn the ban. He became the chairman and chief executive officer of the French club, who broke the world transfer record to sign Neymar earlier this year, four months later.

Al-Khelaifi is a key member of the organising committee for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar and was described by French newspaper L'Equipe as "the most powerful man in French football". Dozens of corruption investigations are ongoing in Switzerland, the United States and elsewhere.

Valcke was banned from football for 10 years for his alleged involvement in a scheme to profit from World Cup ticket sales.

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