BELLINZONA: The manner in which business negotiations and personal interests became muddled in World Cup business was laid bare by Jérôme Valcke and Nasser Al-Khelaïfi on the third day of their trial in Switzerland.
Both Frenchman Valcke and Qatari Al-Khelaifi risk jail sentences. They deny all corruption case charges.
Valcke, 59, the banned and disgraced former secretary-general of world football federation FIFA, had described on Tuesday how his lifestyle had exceeded his income.
The former Canal + journalist , then owing 10 million Swiss francs for two propertues, bought a yacht for $2.8m and dreamed of anchoring it in front of the luxury Villa Bianca on the Sardinian Costa Smeralda. He had contracted to buy the villa in 2013 despite not knowing how to find the $5m.
Valcke’s evidence was followed by Al-Khelaïfi. Under questioning the head of PSG and beIN Media and member of the executive council of UEFA, said that in 2017 he had declared an annual income of between $15m and $25m on top of his personal fortune of between $70m and $100m.
Al-Khelaifi recalled three meetings with Valcke in September and October 2013 which, according to the prosecution, led him to arrange the purchase of the Villa Bianca for Valcke to use rent-free for 18 months.
He denied specifically buying the villa for Valcke.
The prosecution vase is that the villa featured in a corruption pact between the two men in connection with FIFA’s 2014 award to beIN of media rights for the 2026 and 2030 World Cups in North Africa and the Middle East.