Ex-FIFA secretary general, BeIN sports chairman go on trial over TV rights

first_imgRelatedPosts Ighalo idolises Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke Wenger: I am desperate to sit on bench again PSG consider selling Neymar as club chairman sends warning to players Former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke and the chairman of Qatar-based media group, BeIN Sports, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, went on trial in Switzerland on Monday.Both men were docked over the award of television rights for the World Cup and Confederations Cup. The 59-year-old Valcke, already banned by FIFA’s ethics committee for 10 years for ethics violations, has been charged with accepting bribes, aggravated criminal mismanagement and falsification of documents.Al-Khelaifi, who is also president of French champions Paris St-Germain (PSG) and a former Davis Cup tennis player for Qatar, has been charged with inciting Valcke to commit aggravated criminal mismanagement.The 46-year-old Al-Khelaifi, who also sits on the executive committee of European football body UEFA, is regarded as one of the most powerful men in European football.Both men, who were present in court, denied wrongdoing and Al-Khelaifi’s lawyers have said that the majority of the case did not apply to their client.The trial in Switzerland, which is where FIFA is based, is expected to last until Sept. 25. The three federal judges are expected to deliver a verdict by the end of October.The Swiss attorney general’s office has alleged that between 2013 and 2015, Valcke exploited his FIFA role to influence some deals “to favour media partners that he preferred.”This is the award of media rights for various World Cup and Confederations Cup tournaments.Valcke also received exclusive use of a villa belonging to Al-Khelaifi in Sardinia for 18 months, it said.He made use of the property without having to pay a rent estimated at between 900,000 euros (1.07 million dollars) and 1.8 million euros (2.13 million dollars). Valcke, 59, was secretary general of world football’s ruling body for eight years until 2015, overseeing the organisation of the World Cup in South Africa in 2010 and Brazil in 2014.Swiss prosecutors have been investigating corruption surrounding FIFA since 2015, when the global football body became embroiled in the worst corruption scandal in its history.The scandal led to its President Sepp Blatter and UEFA President Michel Platini being banned from the sport, while several dozen officials were indicted in the U.S. on corruption-related charges.(Reuters/NAN)Tags: beIN SportsJerome ValckeNasser Al-Khelaifilast_img read more

Liverpool target is quality but focus should be on other attackers

first_img Liverpool transfer target Ezequiel Lavezzi 1 Ezequiel Lavezzi is being linked with a move to Liverpool, so WhoScored.com explain to us whether or not buying the tattooed trickster is a good move. Check out WhoScored.com for tons more Liverpool stats…Despite the acquisitions of Adam Lallana, Lazar Markovic, Divock Origi and Rickie Lambert, reports indicate Brendan Rodgers is prepared to further strengthen up front. The £75m sale of WhoScored.com’s highest rated player last season, Luis Suarez (8.43), to Barcelona significantly weakened their frontline and one understands the need to spend the funds received to fund a new look attack.Many feel the Reds should bolster their defence, though the signing of Dejan Lovren and supposed moves for Alberto Moreno and Javier Manquillo suggest Rodgers is looking to do just that. Liverpool, however, continue to be linked with a number of attack-minded players after a move for Loic Remy fell through.Marco Reus is the marquee signing fans crave, while the Merseysiders are believed to have shown an interest in Wilfried Bony, Jose Callejon and, most recently, Lavezzi. The Argentine has failed to replicate his Napoli form at PSG following his move to France in 2012, but that is not to say he has performed poorly.The 29-year-old winger scored nine league goals in PSG’s title-winning campaign, a figure bettered only by Suarez (31), Daniel Sturridge (21) and Steven Gerrard (13) of all Liverpool players in the Premier League last term. Granted, Lavezzi’s return did not come close to matching Suarez’s, but in an attack featuring Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani, that is not necessarily a poor haul.What weighs in Liverpool’s favour is that PSG need to sell players in order to accommodate new arrivals. The £40m spent to sign David Luiz from Chelsea had a significant impact given FIFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations, meaning they have had to loan Serge Aurier from Toulouse for the season with an option to buy next summer and are expected to do the same with Angel Di Maria, who is set to sign from Real Madrid.Di Maria’s arrival would limit Lavezzi’s first team action, especially with manager Laurent Blanc also able to call on Javier Pastore and Lucas Moura in his favoured 4-3-3 formation. Rodgers, though, could use a player of Lavezzi’s quality in his squad.As WhoScored.com highlight on the player’s page, his style of play sees him dribble and cut inside from wide positions. The PSG ace has a similar attacking style to Suarez and would help ease the pain of the Uruguayan’s departure.However, the main concern is whether Rodgers could convince Lavezzi to swap Paris for Liverpool without the guarantee of regular first team action. The winger is expected to see his playing time restricted in the upcoming campaign under Blanc, but with a number of options available in attack at Anfield, it’s up for debate whether he would force his way into Rodgers’ starting XI on a regular basis.If PSG are willing to sanction his sale, and Lavezzi was prepared to drop his high wage demands, Liverpool could use a player of his quality in the squad. His inclination to cut onto his right foot from the left flank would appeal to the club as they look to snare a like-for-like replacement for Suarez. Meanwhile, strength in depth is essential, but if younger targets are available, then they should turn their reported interest away from Lavezzi and focus elsewhere.For more stats on Liverpool target Ezequiel Lavezzi, click here to view his WhoScored.com player page.last_img read more