PSG president Al-Khelaifi charged with corruption, lawyers confirm

PSG president Al-Khelaifi charged with corruption, lawyers confirm
File photo of Nasser Al-Khelaifi

Paris St Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has been charged with corruption by French authorities, his lawyers have confirmed.

The Qatari businessman has been accused of making payments totalling 3.5million US dollars (£2.8m) to try to secure the 2017 World Athletics Championships and 2020 Olympics for Doha.

Al-Khelaifi, who also runs Qatari TV channel BeIn Sports, denies the claim.

The allegations concern payments from Al-Khelaifi's company Oryx to a firm run by the son of Lamine Diack, then president of the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF).

"Nasser Al-Khelaifi is charged with having 'validated this payment', to the 'ultimate beneficiary' of Lamine Diack," read a statement from lawyers STAS & Associates. "Both these statements are also inaccurate."

The lawyers claim that the payments made to Pamodzi Sport Consulting, the company run by Papa Massata Diack, largely concerned television and sponsorship rights.

Doha lost out on the 2017 World Championships to London and the 2020 Olympics to Tokyo and the majority of the fees were repaid by Pamodzi, the lawyers add.

They went on to point out that Al-Khelaifi had no involvement in Doha's bid for the World Championships and he was also occupied with acquisition of PSG by Qatar Sports Investments at the time.

Francis Szpiner and Renaud Semerdjian of STAS & Associates said in the statement: "Nasser Al Khelaifi was neither a shareholder nor a director of Oryx in 2011. He was not directly or indirectly involved in Doha's bid to host the 2017 World Athletics Championships.

"Furthermore we remind you that at that time he had been placed on leave of absence from his operational activities within Al Jazeera Sport, having already been in charge for several months of negotiating the acquisition of Paris Saint Germain, of which he became chairman of the supervisory board on June 30, 2011. These facts do not concern him."

The charge has not been publicly confirmed by the French judiciary.

PA

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