FIFA’s TV rights deals back in the dock: Valcke and Al-Khelaïfi hearing next week

FIFA TV camera

September 11 – First Bern, now Bellinzona. Following the recent court appearances in Switzerland of Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini over that infamous CHF 2 million “disloyal payment”, it’s the turn of two other high-profile footballing figures on Monday to have their cases heard.

Jérôme Valcke, for years Blatter’s right-hand man at the head of world football but now serving a ban from the game, and Nasser al-Khelaïfi, president of Paris Saint-Germain and head of BeIn Sport, are expected to appear in the dock in the latest Swiss prosecution of football’s powerbrokers, this time linked to the attribution of broadcasting rights.

A third person, Greek sports marketing executive Konstantinos Nteris (better known as Dinos Deris),  chief executive of TAF Sports, has also been summoned to appear.

The charges are of inciting Valcke to commit a crime, with Al-Khelaïfi accused of having granting the use of a villa in Sardinia to Valcke in exchange for the television rights for the 2026 and 2030 Football World Cups.

No sooner had the September trial date been announced back in April than Al-Khelaifi’s lawyers issued a statement insisting the case was “completely unfounded”, and that the allegation against their client was “manifestly artificial.”

They also indicated that they had requested the recusal of the prosecutors in the case and had filed a criminal complaint related to leaks, “making it uncertain whether the case will proceed at all.”

Valcke, who worked with Blatter from 2003 to 2015, has already been banned from football for 10 years for failing to cooperate with investigators over the resale of World Cup tickets and inflated expenses.

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