Nasser Al-Khelaifi was charged in a case about world cup media rights.
Qatar-based beIN media group’s chairman, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, was acquitted of a charge of incitement to criminal mismanagement by a Swiss court, in a case relating to world cup media rights.
Al-Khelaifi, along with former FIFA Secretary-General Jerome Valcke, were charged with corruption in the Swiss Federal Criminal Court.
Valcke was suspected of accepting “undue advantages” from an unnamed businessman 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, according to the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland said in October 2017.
“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,” said Al-Khelaifi, about the verdict.
Valcke, however, was found guilty of forging documents linked to kickbacks from world cup broadcasting deals in Italy and Greece, but was cleared of other charges.
An additional criminal complaint alleging bribery against Al-Khelaifi was dropped before the case came to court after the football’s world governing body FIFA withdrew the complaint.
An undisclosed settlement was understood to have been reached between Al-Khelaifi and FIFA.
“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,” Al-Khelaifi added.