PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi escapes 28-month prison sentence after being CLEARED in World Cup TV rights bribery trial at the Swiss Federal Criminal Court
- Nasser Al-Khelaifi had been charged in a case related to the awarding of World Cup media rights
- The case also involved former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke
- However, Al-Khelaifi’s legal team said he had been cleared of the charge
- The PSG president has escaped a prison sentence of more than two years
Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has been acquitted of a charge of incitement to criminal mismanagement in a Swiss court, his legal team has said.
Al Khelaifi, who also sits on the executive committee of European football’s governing body, had been charged in a case related to the awarding of World Cup media rights which also involved former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke.
However, his legal team said he had been cleared of the charge at the Swiss Federal Criminal Court in Bellinzona on Friday, and has escaped a prison sentence of more than two years.
PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has been cleared of a charge of incitement in a Swiss court
A statement from Al Khelaifi read: ‘After a relentless four-year campaign against me that ignored the basic facts and the law at every turn – I have finally, fully and completely cleared my name.
‘Today’s verdict is a total vindication. It restores my faith in the rule of law and in due process, after four years of baseless allegations, fictitious charges and constant smears of my reputation – all of which have been proven to be completely and wholly unsubstantiated.’
Al Khelaifi added: ‘I can now devote all my energy to my various roles, which are all focused on building a positive future for world sport – at a time when the industry needs strong leadership the most.’
He was accused of offering former FIFA secretary general Valcke use of his villa in Sardinia, Italy, as a favour ahead of the television rights process for the 2026 and 2030 competitions.
The PSG chief insists the verdict is a ‘total vindication’ after he escaped a 28-month sentence
Al-Khelaifi had faced charges relating to the awarding of FIFA World Cup rights
Prosecutors had called for a 28-month sentence for Al-Khelaifi if he was found guilty. They asked for a three-year sentence for Valcke if the same verdict was passed on him.
An additional criminal complaint alleging bribery against Al Khelaifi was dropped before the case came to court after football’s world governing body FIFA withdrew the complaint.
An undisclosed settlement was understood to have been reached between Al Khelaifi and FIFA.
The court would not confirm the judgement in relation to Valcke when contacted, with a press statement due to come from the court later on Friday afternoon.
Valcke’s 10-year ban from all football-related activities, imposed by FIFA, was upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in 2018.
Former FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke (left) has also been involved in the case