Former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke has denied allegations of corruption relating to the broadcast rights of several World Cups after the Swiss attorney general’s office (OAG) opened criminal proceedings against him and beIN Media Group CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi on Thursday.
The OAG announced on Thursday that Valcke was under investigation for allegedly accepting “undue advantages from a businessman in the sports right sector” in connection to the media rights in certain countries of the World Cups in 2018, 2022, 2026 and 2030.
Added to that, they revealed that Al-Khelaifi – who is also president of Paris Saint-Germain – was being looked into for similar reasons relating to the World Cups in 2026 and 2030.
In a statement released on Thursday beIN Media Group denied any wrongdoing and Valcke, who is in the process of appealing a 10-year ban from football for a break of FIFA’s code of ethics, has followed suit, insisting he has never received any payment from Al-Khelaifi.
Speaking to L’Equipe, Valcke said: “They say that there was a payment of money from Nasser to me against the sale of rights at a preferential rate, but I did not receive anything from Nasser, I can assure you. There has never been an exchange between Nasser and me.
“Everything to do with negotiating TV rights has always been done by the department concerned and the final decision was always in the hands of the finance committee and the executive committee of FIFA.
“It was not my choice, my decision or in my power to do this kind of transaction without it being validated.”
FIFA has backed the OAG’s investigation into Valcke and Al-Khelaifi, commenting that they see themselves as a “damaged party” in an official statement.
A spokesperson said: “FIFA fully supports the investigation conducted by the Swiss Office of the Attorney General as well as the other involved authorities that has become public today.
“FIFA has constituted itself as a damaged party in this investigation, in line with the applicable provisions of Swiss procedural law.
“No further comments can be made by FIFA at this stage in view of the fact that the investigation by the authorities is ongoing.”