ZURICH: A prosecutor in the Swiss federal court in Bellinzona has demanded jail terms for Jerome Valcke and Nasser Al-Khelaifi in the World Cup rights bribery trial.

Frenchman Valcke is the former secretary-general of world football federation FIFA while Qatari Al-Khelaifi heads beIN Media, is president of French champions Paris Saint-Germain and a member of the executive committee of European governing body UEFA.

Prosecution Joël Pahud applied for a three-year jail term for Valcke and 28 months in prison for Al-Khelaïfi. Pahud also asked for a 30-month jail term for Greek businessman Dinos Deris. The prosecution indicated it would accept the sentences to be partly suspended.

All three men deny all wrongdoing.

The main accusation against Valcke is that he sought the help of Nasser Al-Khelaïfi in the summer of 2003 in buying a luxury villa in Sardinia. At the same time beIN was negotiating the extension of its media rights in North Africa and in the Middle East for the 2026 and 2030 World Cups.

Al-Khelaïfi bought the villa for €5m via a company transferred almost immediately to the brother of one of his close associates, before making it available to Valcke. 

Both men described the deal as a private arrangement, unrelated to the contract concluded by beIN with FIFA in April 2014.

Prosecutor Pahud told the court that Valcke’s cooperation over the case left something to be desired and that his claim of a desperate personal financial situation had not been convincing.

Al-Khelaifi, described as  “football’s flagship personality”, has trampled on elementary ethical rules, said the prosecutor.

He had acted out of “greed” for his group beIN Media, had also fallen short in terms of collaboration with the investigation and had demonstrated a “contempt for justice”.