Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 24 May 2019

Spanish football chief slams Uefa nomination of PSG chairman

Javier Tebas said Qatari Nasser Al Khelaifi’s business interests and financial mismanagement made him unsuitable for Uefa's executive

La Liga president Javier Tebas has been a fervent critic of PSG for their financial outlays. AP.
La Liga president Javier Tebas has been a fervent critic of PSG for their financial outlays. AP.

Uefa has been urged to block the appointment of Paris Saint Germain’s Qatari chairman to the executive of European football’s governing body.

Spanish league president Javier Tebas said PSG’s previous financial irregularities and potential conflicts of interest meant Qatari Nasser Al Khelaifi, who also heads up Doha-based beIN SPORT, was not suitable for the 20-strong executive committee.

Mr Al Khelaifi has previously been accused by Swiss prosecutors of bribing Uefa officials to obtain television rights for future world cups, allegations he strenuously denies.

On Wednesday the European Club Association nominated Mr Al Khelaifi as one of its two representatives for the Uefa executive committee. His appointment is subject to ratification by the Uefa Congress next Thursday in Rome.

The "appointment must be rejected as it violates all reasonable rules of governance, not only because of the financial fair play file, also because he is president of beIN Sport, one of main Uefa broadcast rights buyers,” Mr Tebas said.

Mr Al Khelaifi has faced accusations that allege he bribed disgraced former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke to obtain viewing rights for beIN.

Having initially cleared PSG of breaking financial fair play rules, Uefa reopened an investigation into the club in 2018 largely stemming from the eye-watering sum the club recently paid for superstars Neymar and Kylian Mbappe. The regulations are supposed to stop wealthy clubs spending more than they earn;

It’s not the first time Mr Tebas, the outspoken and sometimes controversial La Liga chief, has slammed PSG for its finances.

“In the case of PSG it’s not just them receiving state help. They make sponsorship agreements that are false; the economic quantities [involved] are not real,” he told Britain’s Daily Mail in October 2018.

“I think the EU could get involved and if Uefa don’t take action to impose a penalty on PSG then we will have to go the EU. They cheat. It’s nothing new. I’ve said it before.”

Updated: January 31, 2019 06:31 PM

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