PARIS: The general director of Qatari broadcasting giant beIN has been indicted in France reportedly over bribery allegations concerning the Gulf state’s bid to host the the World Athletics Championships.
Yousef Al-Obaidly is a close associate of Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, the chairman of beIN Media Group who is also president of French football champions Paris Saint-Germain and is facing a criminal investigation of his own in Switzerland over World Cup rights.
French newspaper Le Monde has claimed that Al-Obaidly, who is also head of the TV channel beIN Sports France, was charged on March 28 by judge Renaud Van Ruymbeke. Al-Obaidly, 40, is also a director of PSG.
The case has arisen out of a judicial investigation undertaken by the National Financial Office (PNF) for “corruption” and “aggravated money laundering” concerning the awarding of the world athletics championships in Qatar.
Lamine Diack, the former president of the International Athletics Federation and once an influential member of the International Olympic Committee, was also indicted for corruption on March 27.
The suggestion is that Diack supported the Qatari candidacy, in his role as IAAF president, in exchange for $3.5m paid to by Oryx Qartar Sports Investments to Senegal-based Pamodzi Sports Consulting, run by one of Diack’s sons.
Qatar’s bid in 2011 for the 2017 world championship was beaten by London but Doha was then awarded 2019.