Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi was on Friday acquitted on appeal for a second time by a Swiss federal court of charges of corruption in the attribution of World Cup television rights.

Al-Khelaifi had been charged with inciting former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke to commit aggravated criminal mismanagement.

Valcke was accused of wanting to transfer the Middle East and North Africa television rights for the 2026 and 2030 World Cups to a media company headed by Al-Khelaifi.

Al-Khelaifi allegedly offered Valcke, who is serving a 10-year ban from football that was handed down by the Fifa Ethics Committee in 2018, exclusive use of a luxury villa in Sardinia in exchange.

The PSG president has been cleared again of a charge of incitement to commit aggravated criminal mismanagement.

It is the second time Al-Khelaifi has been cleared of wrongdoing in the Swiss federal criminal court after prosecutors appealed against the original verdicts.

"The years of baseless allegations, fictitious charges and constant smears have been proven to be completely and wholly unsubstantiated – twice," Al Khelaifi's lawyer Marc Bonnant said in a widely reported statement.

Valcke was convicted of separate charges not involving Al-Khelaifi. He was given an 11-month suspended sentence and must also repay FIFA €1.75m (£1.58m) for forgery and passive corruption.

Those charges relate to Valcke exploiting his position to influence the awarding of media rights for Italy and Greece for various World Cup and other tournaments scheduled between 2018 and 2030, in exchange for payments from Greek businessman Dinos Deris, who has also been charged.

The Frenchman was cleared of the most serious charges involving accepting bribes and aggravated criminal mismanagement.

LaLiga chief Javier Tebas continued his feud with Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City, explaining the complaint to UEFA over financial fair play was to defend competition.

City were the subject of the first LaLiga complaint back in April, while the league lodged another against PSG on Wednesday regarding breaching financial fair play rulings.

The latter complaint continued Tebas' most recent conflict with the Ligue 1 side, who managed to keep World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe in Paris despite persistent interest from Real Madrid.

Tebas claimed the agreement between PSG and Mbappe was "an insult to football", promising to denounce the French side in court before duly obliging and filing to European football's governing body.

LaLiga cited practices "altering the ecosystem and the sustainability of football" and "only serving to artificially inflate the market with money not generated in football itself".

Tebas, speaking at the Club Consultative Platform (CAP) meeting on Thursday, reiterated his frustrations with PSG and suggested his actions were in the interest of football.

"Do the clubs or the leagues have a responsibility towards our hierarchically superior institutions?" he said. "Am I obliged to report when I consider that there are irregularities?

"I think so, and that is also governance. If we looked the other way in matters of economic control and the cheating that is done, we would breach our governance rules.

"We want the competition to be as clean as possible and these clubs do a lot of damage to economic control."

PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi was also referenced in the LaLiga complaint, with a conflict of interests cited due to his role as European Club Association chairman and his responsibilities as the organisation's delegate to UEFA's executive committee.

Tebas insists the complaint was not solely in the interests of LaLiga, but also for the benefit of European football.

"[There is] a clear conflict of interest," he added. "He is a buyer of UEFA rights, we have to denounce him.

"We are not doing it to defend the Spanish clubs, who have enough with our most demanding economic control, we are doing it to safeguard the ecosystem of European football, which is in danger."

Madrid president Florentino Perez indicated his hopes for a European Super League are still alive earlier in the week, with the judicial process still ongoing.

Juventus and Barcelona are the other two teams harbouring ambitions of a breakaway league, and Tebas says they are right to do so as UEFA and domestic leagues cannot govern over state-run clubs.

"The three clubs in the Super League are trying to strengthen themselves, rightly so, with this argument, they say that UEFA is not capable of fighting against the state clubs and they accuse them, on occasions, of coexistence," he continued.

"For this reason, these state clubs do a lot of damage to the football ecosystem, because they compete unfairly, with an inflating impact in terms of salaries, and question the credibility of UEFA and the financial control system.

"That is why it is important to denounce it and say it clearly."

Paris Saint-Germain are "keeping the best player in the world" having convinced Kylian Mbappe to remain with the club, according to president Nasser Al-Khelaifi.

Mbappe had widely been expected to join Real Madrid when his previous contract expired at the end of the 2021-22 campaign.

However, prior to PSG's final game of the season against Metz, reports emerged he had in fact decided to take up PSG's offer of a new contract and remain in the French capital.

His mother and agent confirmed on Friday that agreements had been reached with both clubs and, before Saturday's game, it was confirmed Mbappe would be staying put on a three-year deal.

Mbappe was paraded on the pitch before the game at Parc des Princes, with a "2025" shirt, and subsequently scored a hat-trick as PSG rounded off a title-winning Ligue 1 season with a 5-0 rout.

That treble took his tally for the season to 39 in all competitions. Only two players in Europe's top-five leagues, Robert Lewandowski (50) and Karim Benzema (44), have scored more.

But, with 21 assists to his name, no player in the top-five leagues registered more goal involvements than Mbappe's 60.

Speaking at a media conference on Monday, Al-Khelaifi said: "Kylian has stayed at PSG for the next three seasons. It's very important for us, Ligue 1 and France.

"This choice is a very strong sign, we are keeping the best player in the world. He stays here because Paris puts him in a position to achieve his sporting goals: win, win and win."

 

Reports have suggested Mbappe will earn a €100million a year salary and has received a €150m signing bonus.

Additionally, there has been speculation he will help decide the coach, with Mauricio Pochettino's future in doubt, have a say in the appointment of a sporting director and approve transfers.

Asked about his reported powers, Al-Khelaifi did not directly address the question, replying: "I'm going to be very honest with you: from day one we talk about football with his family.

"That's what I like about him, we always talk about football. When we come here, we come here because it's Paris and he's coming to win a lot of trophies."

However, Al-Khelaifi suggested Madrid could have offered Mbappe more than what they are paying him.

"We never gave the figures, but it was not the most important, the most important was the sporting project. The money, the club in Spain could have paid more.

"We weren't sure, but we always believed in Kylian, in his family.

"We have built something very strong between us since day one. Maybe you don't understand it now but you will understand it later that it's positive for the club, the championship, France."

Responding to criticism of the deal from LaLiga president Javier Tebas, who labelled it an "insult to football", Al-Khelaifi said: "Our Ligue 1 president is Vincent Labrune. He can answer you better.

"But it may be a good thing if Ligue 1 is doing better than LaLiga. We have respect for everyone. We are focused on our club, our league, our best player in the world, that's the most important thing for me."

Paris Saint-Germain remain hopeful of reopening contract talks with Kylian Mbappe and want him to win the Ballon d'Or with the club, president Nasser Al-Khelaifi declared.

Al-Khelaifi also dismissed speculation that PSG want to replace head coach Mauricio Pochettino with Zinedine Zidane.

Speaking after Lionel Messi became the first player from the club to win Ballon d'Or honours – largely attributed to him winning the Copa America with Argentina – Al-Khelaifi made his position known about the burning issues affecting PSG.

There have been deep worries that Mbappe will walk away on a free transfer at the end of the season, when his current deal expires. Real Madrid wanted him in the last transfer window and are expected to move again. Unless Mbappe commits to a new deal, he would be free to talk to the likes of Madrid from January.

But Al-Khelaifi can see a future in which Mbappe continues to terrorise defences in a PSG shirt, just as he is currently doing in tandem with former Barcelona captain Messi.

The PSG president addressed that within the context of Messi's award success, saying: "For the club, it is the first, I hope it is not the last. I hope that other players will win it, starting with Kylian. I'm sure he wants to win it."

Speaking to L'Equipe, Al-Khelaifi said of the 22-year-old striker's future: "You know what I think, Kylian is a great player, a great man. Kylian knows what he wants to do, us too."

On the potential for new contract talks, the PSG president added, according to RMC Sport: "We hope."

It remains to be seen whether either Mbappe or Pochettino stay in Paris beyond the end of this season.

There have been persistent rumours that PSG would consider swapping Pochettino for former Real Madrid boss Zidane, but Al-Khelaifi threw his support behind the Argentine coach currently at the helm.

"Pochettino is our coach and he is happy to be with us, we are happy to work with him," Al-Khelaifi said.

"He is doing a good job. Everyone needs time. I see all the rumours, we have to stop talking about this, it's not true.

"We're truly happy with the coach. We haven't had any contact with Zidane. He's a great coach, but we also have a very good one."

Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi dismissed the possibility of Cristiano Ronaldo joining fellow superstar Lionel Messi at the Ligue 1 giants, insisting "we haven't even thought about it".

Ronaldo is expected to leave Juventus before the transfer window closes, with the former Manchester United star reportedly in talks to sign for Premier League champions Manchester City in a stunning deal.

PSG have also been linked with the 36-year-old and five-time Ballon d'Or winner, who is in the final year of his Juve contract in Turin – where the Portugal captain arrived from Real Madrid in 2018.

The possibility of former Madrid and Barcelona foes Ronaldo and Messi joining forces in Paris has excited fans, but Al-Khelaifi slammed the door shut on the Portuguese forward moving to the French capital.

"We haven't even thought about it," Al-Khelaifi told beIN Sports.

Since turning 30 in February 2015, Ronaldo has been directly involved in 392 goals in 356 games for club and country.

Ronaldo has scored 263 goals and supplied 63 assists in 295 club appearances, while he has managed 57 goals and nine assists in 61 international fixtures during that period.

It comes as PSG star Kylian Mbappe looks to leave the club, with Madrid reportedly closing in on the France international.

Despite Mbappe being out of contract at the end of the season, Madrid are believed to have offered €180million.

Al-Khelaifi said: "The club's stance is clear, nothing has changed.

"Everything is still the same, we will not change [our stance] or repeat it."

Mbappe has scored 133 goals and provided 58 assists across 174 games over four years at PSG since arriving from Monaco.

The 22-year-old's 191 goal involvements since his debut rank third among players in Europe's top five leagues in that time, behind Messi (236) and Bayern Munich superstar Robert Lewandowski (213).

Mbappe was on target as Mauricio Pochettino's PSG overcame Brest 4-2 in Ligue 1 last week.

PSG's Mbappe scored his fourth Ligue 1 headed goal, his first with for club and his first since March 2017 with Monaco at Caen.

Mbappe has been decisive in eight consecutive Ligue 1 games (eight goals, three assists), his second-best run in the top-flight, behind February-November 2020 (10).

Kylian Mbappe has "no excuse" to leave Paris Saint-Germain following Lionel Messi's arrival, according to club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi.

Messi was unveiled at a press conference at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday while thousands of fans gathered outside the stadium to welcome the superstar forward.

The Argentina captain signed a two-year deal, with the option of a further 12 months, after Barcelona were unable follow through on the terms they agreed with the 34-year-old due to financial problems.

Mbappe has less than year remaining on his contract with the Ligue 1 club but PSG president Al-Khelaifi believes the France forward has no option but to stay and play alongside Messi and Neymar.

"Everyone knows the future of Kylian," said Al-Khelaifi. "He's a competitive player who wants to win trophies - he's said that himself.

"He wanted a competitive team, [with Messi] there is no excuse. He can't do anything else but stay."

Al-Khelaifi insists PSG are in no danger of breaching UEFA Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations after luring Messi to the French capital.

Asked about FFP, he replied: "A very great question, thank you. We have checked and we knew we had the capacity to sign Leo.

"What Leo brings to the club is huge, that is what you media need to focus on, not the negative, the positive."

Nasser Al-Khelaifi has replaced Andrea Agnelli as chairman of the European Clubs Association (ECA) after the breakdown of the proposed European Super League.

Paris Saint-Germain – for whom Al-Khelaifi is chairman and chief executive – were, along with Bayern Munich, one of the few heavyweight European clubs to elect against joining the planned breakaway competition, which collapsed before it ever got started.

Only Real Madrid and Barcelona are yet to confirm their withdrawal from the now-suspended tournament, after all six English teams involved pulled out on Tuesday, with Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Inter and Milan following suit on Wednesday.

During a remarkable situation which rolled out over Sunday and Monday, Juve chief Agnelli – a major driving force behind the proposals – resigned from his post as the ECA chairman.

With PSG having rebuffed the invitation to join the European Super League, Al-Khelaifi issued a strong statement condemning the actions of the 12 clubs and backing UEFA.

Al-Khelaifi, who has been in charge of PSG since 2011, has now been handed a new role as Agnelli's replacement.

He said: "I am honoured and humbled to have been appointed by my fellow ECA Executive Board Members as chairman.

"The leadership, integrity and togetherness of our organisation has never been more required than at this pivotal moment in European football.

"I will provide my unconditional commitment to the entire football community: that means to all ECA Member Clubs from every European nation, and to the fans and communities they represent.

"I, alongside all my fellow ECA Board Members and Clubs, am looking to reinforce ECA in its role as the legitimate and singular voice of Europe’s clubs. Our game, adored by generations of supporters, will only prosper under unity, and it is our duty as the custodians of football to fulfil this obligation."

The ECA said: "Following the unprecedented events of recent days, which has seen attempts to undermine the entire European football community, ECA – representing the leading football clubs of Europe – welcomes the decision from its former member clubs not to pursue their purported 'Super League' project.

"ECA firmly believes this project could not succeed because football, at its core, is based on openness, sporting excellence and an inherent connection between everyone across the football family.

"Football is for everybody. Recent events have been a reminder that club owners are merely custodians of their clubs, which are historic beacons that mean so much to fans and their communities.

"ECA believes that it is the responsibility of every member club to ensure that we develop football and leave it in a better place for the next generation; not to dismantle it purely for financial gain."

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