KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS:  Swiss prosecutors will appeal against the verdicts of the Federal Criminal Court in the World Cup television rights case entangling Nasser Al-Khelaïfi and Jerome Valcke.

Al-Khelaïfi is head of the powerful Qatari beIN Media broadcasting group while Valcke is the French secretary-general sacked by world football federation FIFA at the start of 2016.

The trial, in Bellinzona, concerned events surrounding the sale of TV rights for the 2026 and 2030 World Cups in the  Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. A central feature concerned the leasing to Valcke by a company controlled by Al-Khelaifi of a luxury villa in Sardinia.

Al-Khelaïfi, who is a member of UEFA’s exective committee on behalf of the European Clubs Association, was declared not guilty of unfair management while Valcke was also acquitted but handed a suspended 120-day jail sentence on another illicit rights sale issue to Greek agent Dinos Deris.

A statement from the Attorney General’s Office said that, after reviewing the full judgment, it had “filed a notice of appeal in February”. It is seeking “modifications of the first instance judgment with a view to the conviction of the defendants for the offences which were the subject of the indictment.”