Swiss prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation into Jerome Valcke; the banned former FIFA secretary general, and Nasser Al-Khelaifi; the chief executive of Qatar’s beIN Media, over World Cup broadcasting deals.
Prosecutors interviewed Valcke on Thursday, while authorities in France, Greece, Italy and Spain searched properties in various locations, the OAG said.
French prosecutors said they had searched beIN’s offices in Paris on Thursday. In Greece, a judicial source said: “Today, prosecutors participated in searches at residences. The operation is led by Swiss authorities.”
The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) said on Thursday it suspected Valcke accepted “undue advantages” in connection with the award of media rights for the 2026 and 2030 competitions from Al-Khelaifi.
Valcke was Sepp Blatter’s right-hand man when the latter ran FIFA, the Swiss-based world soccer body. Al-Khelaifi is also president of French club Paris Saint Germain. BeIN Media denied any wrongdoing and said it was cooperating with officials.
“It is 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,” the OAG said.