Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) president Nasser Al-Khelaifi is currently under investigation by three French judges for allegations of kidnapping and torture. The Qatari football executive has denied all accusations and maintains that justice will take its course. The case is linked to the lobbyist Tayeb Benabderrahmane, who claims he was abducted and tortured in Qatar in 2020. He alleges that he was in possession of documents containing compromising information on Al-Khelaïfi.
The documents are said to be related to the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, and the granting of television rights for the 2026 and 2030 World Cup to BeIN Media, of which Al-Khelaifi is chairman. In response to the allegations, Al-Khelaifi has stated that “professional criminals” are behind the accusations, and that “justice will run its course”. Benabderrahmane’s lawyers have expressed their satisfaction with the decision to investigate the case.
Al-Khelaifi was previously investigated for his involvement in the World Cup bid, but was acquitted. This is the latest setback for PSG, who have seen a decline in form since the World Cup. Al-Khelaifi has been president and CEO of PSG since 2011, when Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) took over the club. He has been responsible for bringing in players such as Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, and Neymar Jr., but the club has yet to win the Champions League since the takeover.
Al-Khelaifi is a former tennis player who achieved a career-high ranking of 995 in 2002. He was part of the organising committee of the World Cup and is currently chairman of QSI. PSG are currently leading Ligue 1, but face a crucial Round of 16 clash against Bayern Munich next week. It remains to be seen how this investigation will affect the team’s performance.