Today, Friday, the Swiss judiciary acquitted the head of the “beIN” media group, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, of a corruption case related to television broadcasting rights for the 2026 and 2030 World Cups.
According to beIN SPORTS news channel via Twitter, Nasser Al-Khulaifi said: “I was finally able to completely and categorically clear my name … This innocence renewed my belief in the rule of law and in legal procedures.
He added: After 4 years of false allegations and accusations and the continuous defamation of my reputation, all this has proven to be unfounded .. I will now focus my efforts to build the future of global sport.
On September 24, the court session to look into the case of Nasser Al-Khulaifi was concluded, after the defense team presented a 6-hour pleading in response to the prosecution’s case and demanded the complete acquittal of their client. Evidence to prove the truth of this charge.
The case relates to accusations of corruption and bribery against FIFA Secretary General Jerome Falk and Greek businessman Contancius Nitrais, known as “Denos Dreis”, for granting media rights to the World Cup in Italy, Greece, the Middle East and North Africa. The only accusation against Al-Khulaifi was “inciting mismanagement.” In February of this year, FIFA completely dropped all charges of bribery alleged against Al-Khulaifi, after investigations that lasted for 3 years proved his innocence and that he had committed no wrongdoing.
Al-Khulaifi’s three Swiss attorneys – Marc Bonant, Gregoire Mangaet and Fanny Margairas – took turns refuting the prosecution case.
According to the prosecution newspaper, Al-Khulaifi bought a villa for Jerome Falk in exchange for providing media rights for a cheap price to BN Sport without a tender, but the defense was able to completely refute this argument, according to the following:
First: The media rights that BN bought for the 2026 and 2030 World Cups were at an impressive price and not less than their value, as it paid $ 480 million, which far exceeds the $ 435 million target set by FIFA.
Second: The fact that there is no bid on the contract that BN Sport has obtained is completely up to FIFA to choose according to its interests, which is legal and occurs in all types of sports contracts.
Third: Al-Khulaifi did not own the villa in question at all, and there is no single evidence from the prosecution that proves any incitement or encouragement to Falk on the part of Nasser Al-Khulaifi not to report the only accusation against Al-Khulaifi.
It was noted during the court session that, given the issue of broadcasting at the present time and in all parts of the world, especially in the Middle East and North Africa, the beIN broadcasting rights deal is more than wonderful for FIFA, due to the fact that broadcasting rights values are declining in light of the Covid-19 crisis and piracy, There is no competition in many global markets, at a time when Saudi Arabia is broadcasting illegally.
Swiss lawyer Marc Bonant, who represents Nasser Al-Khulaifi in the case, said after the session last September: “For the first time since the start of this investigation nearly 4 years ago, the defense of Nasser Al-Khulaifi was finally heard. All the contradictions and defects in the prosecution case were presented, as the broadcast rights deal was. The year 2026/2030 is outstanding for FIFA, and it is far from undervalued.
He added that Al-Khulaifi did not own the villa in question at all, and continued by saying: The most important thing is that the only charge directed against Al-Khulaifi is “incitement” to Falk not to report the alleged matters, and this accusation has not been proven, stressing that the complete innocence of Nasser Al-Khulaifi is absolutely required. They are confident that this will be the case and that justice will be done.