Verdict in Fifa World Cup TV rights bribe trials will be made in October

Qatar's beIN chairman Nasser Al Khelaifi and former Fifa executive Jerome Valcke are on trial in Switzerland

(FILES) In this file photo taken on September 14, 2020 Paris Saint-Germain chief Nasser Al-Khelaifi leaves the Swiss Federal Criminal Court on the opening day of a corruption trial of PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi and FIFA ex-secretary general Jerome Valcke in Bellinzona, southern Switzerland. Swiss prosecutors call for PSG president Al-Khelaifi to get 28 months jail in TV rights trial, according to media on September 22, 2020. FIFA's disgraced former secretary general Jerome Valcke and Paris Saint-Germain chief Nasser Al-Khelaifi went on trial in Switzerland on September 21 in the latest chapter of football's seemingly endless corruption saga. The two men have been indicted for alleged corruption in the attribution of football broadcasting rights -- Al-Khelaifi is also the boss of beIN Media. / AFP / Fabrice COFFRINI
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The verdict in the trials of Qatar's beIN chairman Nasser Al Khelaifi and former Fifa executive Jerome Valcke will be announced in October, the court has announced.

Both are on trial in Switzerland over the awarding of television rights to future World Cups.

It is alleged that Mr Valcke received exclusive use of a villa belonging to Mr Al Khelaifi in Sardinia, Italy, for 18 months without having to pay rent of up to €1.8 million (Dh7.8m).

On Thursday the Federal Court said it would announce the verdict in the case on October 30, after 10 days of evidence in the case.

On Tuesday, prosecutors asked the court to give Mr Al Khelaifi a 28-month sentence and Mr Valcke three years if convicted.

The court has heard beIN Media Group was awarded TV rights without other tenders being sought for two World Cups.

Niclas Ericson, Fifa’s former TV rights director, told the football corruption trial that broadcasting rights for 2026 and 2030 Middle East and North Africa cups were not put to tender before being awarded to beIN Media Group.

Mr Al Khelaifi, 46, who is also president of French champions Paris Saint-Germain and sits on the executive committee of European football body Uefa, is accused of inciting Mr Valcke not to tell Fifa about favours he received from him to buy a €7 million villa in Sardinia.

The issue is whether the former Davis Cup tennis player for Qatar directly helped Mr Valcke to buy the villa and use it for free, given that beIN Media was the sole bidder for the Middle East media rights to the 2026 and 2030 World Cups.

The two men deny there was a "corrupt agreement" and said the deal was a "private" arrangement, unrelated to the contract concluded by beIN with Fifa in April 2014.

In a separate case, Greek businessman Dinos Deris is accused of giving Mr Valcke more than $1.5m (Dh5.51m) in bribes.

Mr Deris is charged with bribery for €1.25m he allegedly paid Mr Valcke in exchange for favourable treatment of his bid for Greek and Italian media rights for 12 years of football tournaments.

The October verdict will be the first judgment handed down in Switzerland in the 20 or so proceedings opened in the past five years involving Fifa.

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