Switzerland Investigates Qatar's Khelaifi, France's Valcke

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The Paris offices of beIN Sports were searched on Thursday morning as part of the criminal probe against Valcke and Al-Khelaifi.

It is suspected that 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 Al-Khelaifi in connection with the award of media rights for certain countries at the FIFA World Cups in 2026 and 2030.

The investigation concerns alleged bribes offered to Jérôme Valcke, the former Fifa secretary general, to award the 2026 and 2030 World Cup rights to the Qatari-owned beIN Media Group, of which Al-Khelaifi is chairman.

Khelaifi, Valcke and the unnamed businessman are collectively suspected of bribery, fraud, criminal mismanagement and forgery of a document, in a criminal proceeding - effectively an investigation rather than charges - ongoing since 20 March this year.

The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) announced on Thursday it is investigating the former head of Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) football club and beIN media agency and a former FIFA top-level executive over allegations of corruption. I have never done that.

"There was a contract and Mr Valcke paid the rent", Stephane Ceccaldi said.

The investigation into Al-Khelaifi was reportedly opened in March 2017 and is being conducted in partnership with French, Greek, Italian and Spanish authorities. In terms of the request for mutual legal assistance, the OAG was in attendance when these procedures took place. The Independent's Luke Brown reported this summer's extravagant spending of more than £200 million on world-record signing Neymar, as well as the future £166 million purchase of Kylian Mbappe, could breach Financial Fair Play rules. "I have never received anything in exchange for anything", Valcke told French sports daily L'Equipe on Friday.

Valcke was sacked by FIFA in January 2016 in connection with affairs around World Cup tickets and television rights.

"The new proceeding has been opened primarily on the basis of findings obtained by the OAG in the earlier proceeding", the statement read.