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Swiss prosecutors have second chance against PSG’s Al-Khelaifi

Paris Saint-Germain boss Nasser Al-Khelaifi and former FIFA number two Jerome Valcke will be back in court in March as the Swiss authorities appeal decisions in a corruption trial in 2020, according to documents seen on Tuesday.

The Federal Prosecutor’s Office announced in mid-February 2021 that it would appeal a judgement in Bellinzona in October 2020 which acquitted Al-Khelaifi and handed Valcke a suspended sentence. 

The two men were accused of a “corrupt agreement” after Valcke was alleged to have sought the help of Al-Khelaifi, who is also the chairman of beIN Sports, to buy a luxury villa in Sardinia, at a time when the Qatari-owned broadcaster was negotiating the extension of its media rights in North Africa and the Middle East for the 2026 and 2030 World Cups.

The two men said the deal was a “private” arrangement, unrelated to the contract concluded by beIN with FIFA in April 2014.

The prosecution called for a 28-month sentence for Al-Khelaifi and three years for Valcke. 

Their case was hobbled when football’s governing body FIFA withdrew after reaching an agreement with Al-Khelaifi, the terms of which were never disclosed. 

The judges decided there was no indication that FIFA could have obtained more than the 480 million dollars for two World Cups, agreed by beIN. 

The appeal hearing has now been scheduled for March 7-10.

Valcke was ordered to pay 1.65 million euros in civil damages over a separate accusation involving media rights in Greece and Italy.

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