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Ex-FIFA secretary general Valcke gets suspended prison sentence

Former FIFA secretary general Jérôme Valcke has been given an 11-month suspended prison sentence after being convicted of bribery charges by a Swiss appeals court, while UEFA Executive Committee member Nasser Al-Khelaifi was acquitted.

As well as the suspended prison term, Valcke has been fined CHF20,000 (£17,000/$20,900/€19,900).

Valcke, FIFA’s secretary general for eight years before he was sacked when corruption allegations emerged in 2015, was convicted of forging documents and accepting bribes.

A lower court had previously found Valcke guilty only of forging documents.

Qatari official Al-Khelaifi, who is also President of Paris Saint-German, a Qatar 2022 World Cup Organising Committee member and beIN Media Group chairman, had been acquitted of inciting Valcke to commit aggravated criminal mismanagement previously and was again acquitted by the appeals court.

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A third defendant, Greek businessman Dinos Deris, was given a 10-month suspended sentence.

Deris had before been acquitted on charges of active corruption with Valcke in relation to the Greek and Italian rights deals, but prosecutors successfully appealed.

The case revolved around media rights for the FIFA World Cup.

Al-Khelaifi had been accused by prosecutors of having given Valcke exclusive use of a luxury villa in Sardinia.

It was claimed this was linked to beIN Sports extending its Middle East and North Africa broadcasting rights for the 2026 and 2030 World Cups.

Al-Khelaifi always denied the charges.

Valke has been banned from all football-related activity by the FIFA Ethics Committee until 2032.

It levied a further ban of six years and eight months against the Frenchman in March last year, with the sanction not coming into force until an existing ban from football expires in October 2025.

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