Qatari president of PSG under graft investigation in France

PARIS/DOHA (Reuters) – The Qatari president of French football membership Paris Saint-Germain, Nasser al-Khelaifi, is below formal investigation in France for alleged corruption associated with Doha’s bid to host the athletics international championship, his legal professionals mentioned on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: Football Soccer – Paris St Germain and AccorHotels Press Convention – Parc Des Princes, Paris, France – February 22, 2019 Paris Saint-Germain chairman and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi throughout the clicking convention REUTERS/Charles Platiau

French monetary prosecutors are having a look at a $three.five million cost made in 2011 via Qatar-based corporate Oryx QSI to a sports activities advertising and marketing corporate run via Papa Massata Diack, son of the previous IAAF president Lamine Diack, throughout the bidding procedure for the 2017 international championships.

They allege that Khelaifi authorized the cost, in line with the awareness despatched via the investigative pass judgement on to his legal professionals, who denied he had any hyperlink to Oryx QSI on the time.

A number of different assets mentioned Khelaifi and a detailed affiliate have been puzzled via investigators in March “as an individual of passion” within the investigation.

Qatar used to be unsuccessful in its bid to host the championships, which went to London. However Qatar did pass directly to safe the rights to carry the 2019 international championships to be held in October.

The transfer via an investigative pass judgement on is an indication of the broadening scope of France’s inquiry right into a suspected internet of corruption as soon as rife in international athletics, together with bribes to hide up athletes’ sure drug exams.

“The pass judgement on has made a mistake. Nasser has no involvement in any respect,” Khelaifi attorney Renaud Semerdjian informed Reuters. “His identify does now not seem in all of the procedural report.”

Semerdjian additionally puzzled the competence of French prosecutors to delve into issues he mentioned happened out of doors of France.

Khelaifi, 45, is deeply concerned with sports activities and wearing occasions in Qatar. He serves as chairman of Qatar Sports activities Investments and the Qatar Tennis Federation, along his position as president of Paris Saint-Germain. He’s additionally a minister with out portfolio within the Qatari executive.

The pass judgement on’s resolution method Khelaifi is now officially handled as a suspect and takes the criminal procedure one step nearer to trial. Below French legislation, then again, a suspect isn’t officially charged with against the law until he’s despatched to trial.

French prosecutors this week advisable that Lamine Diack, the Senegalese former head of the IAAF, and his son stand trial for a number of suspected illicit practices, dedicated over quite a lot of years with the lively involvement of athletes and their federations.

They started their investigation into Diack in 2015, in a while after the IAAF’s ethics fee and the Global Anti-Doping Authority (WADA) exposed proof that a Russian athlete paid a six-figure sum to hide up a favorable check.


Within the 4 years since, the French inquiry has widened to incorporate the bidding procedure for the Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo Olympic Video games, in addition to the arena athletics championships.

The investigative judges presiding over the Diack case accuse the Senegalese of favoring Qatar’s bid for the 2017 international championship in go back for a kickback, assets have mentioned.

The indictment passed to judges on Monday and observed via Reuters accuses Diack and his son, Papa Massata, of bribe-taking and cash laundering.

France’s monetary prosecutors allege that Pamodzi Sports activities Consulting, an organization belonging to Papa Massata, gained $three.five million from Oryx QSI, simply one in every of a number of multi-million greenback bills gained via the Diacks.

A supply acquainted with the subject mentioned Oryx QSI had undertaken to pay $32.five million for the industrial rights to the 2017 championships of which $three.five million used to be paid in advance as a non-refundable deposit. The total quantity used to be conditional on Qatar profitable the bid, the supply mentioned.

London received the bid in November, 2011, to host the 2017 international championships.

Khelaifi’s legal professionals mentioned he used to be the chairman of Qatar Sports activities Investments however in 2011 had not anything to do with Oryx QSI, which they mentioned used to be a separate entity.

“Nasser al Khelaifi used to be neither a shareholder nor a director of Oryx in 2011. He used to be indirectly or not directly fascinated with Doha’s bid to host the 2017 international athletics championships,” Khelaifi’s legal professionals mentioned.

Oryx QSI may now not right away be reached for remark.

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Nasser Khelaifi could also be chairman of beIN Media Team, a tv community that holds regional rights to most of the international’s most sensible wearing occasions, together with Global Cup football.

He’s these days below investigation in a separate case via Swiss prosecutors for offering “undue benefits” to football’s world governing frame FIFA for broadcasting rights for the 2026 and 2030 Global cup.

The IAAF informed Reuters on Wednesday it had in 2016 offered “broad ranging reforms proper around the recreation, together with its decision-making and approval processes, general governance at each degree of the game”.

Reporting via Emmanuel Jarry and Eric Knecht Writing via Richard Lough; Modifying via Luke Baker and Mark Heinrich

Our Requirements:The Thomson Reuters Agree with Ideas.

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