PSG Chairman Al-Khelaifi to join top UEFA body amid probes

LAUSANNE (AP) – Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) Chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi (pic right) is set to join the UEFA executive committee, despite the French club being under financial investigation and the Qatari himself being embroiled in criminal proceedings.

Al-Khelaifi was elected on Wednesday by the European Club Association board to be one of its two delegates on UEFA’s main policy-making panel. His position on the executive committee still has to be ratified next week by the UEFA Congress in Rome, a decision that could test the organisation’s conflict of interest regulations.

Al-Khelaifi is in charge of Doha-based beIN Sports, which broadcasts in the Middle East as well as parts of Asia, Europe and North America, and buys rights from UEFA.

Now Al-Khelaifi is set to be sitting around the table with some of the most powerful figures in world football at UEFA.

In a statement from the European Club Association, Al-Khelaifi said he was “deeply honoured” to be taking the UEFA executive committee place of former Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis.

“I look forward to working alongside members of the UEFA executive committee to enhance and develop European football, while ensuring that the interests of all the clubs are represented in the decision making process,” Al-Khelaifi said.

The governing body’s President Aleksander Ceferin, said in November that Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations need to be “more robust” just as PSG’s compliance with the rules, designed to curb so-called financial doping by wealthy backers of clubs in the Champions League or Europa League, is under scrutiny.

PSG had to forfeit 20 million euros of Champions League prize money after a 2014 settlement for breaching FFP rules. The club came under fresh scrutiny from UEFA in 2017, with ongoing questions about whether sponsor revenue from Qatar has been overvalued.