Sheikh Hamad Ben Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, on December 2, 2010 in Zurich (Switzerland). Matthew Childs / Action Images via Reuters
The investigation of the French justice around the controversial attribution of the 2022 FIFA World Cup to Qatar promises to be sprawling. In December 2019, after three years of preliminary investigation for “Private corruption”, “criminal association”, “influence peddling and concealment of influence peddling”, the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) opened a judicial investigation and the case was entrusted to two investigating judges, Marc Sommerer and Bénédicte de Perthuis.
According to Mediapart, one of the pieces of the imposing puzzle reconstructed by the PNF concerns the former president of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Michel Platini. The latter admitted having voted for the emirate in the ballot for the tournament, organized by the International Football Federation (FIFA) in December 2010.
The investigation site assures, this Sunday, December 20, that the French justice suspects Laurent Platini, the son of Mr. Platini, of having been at the center of an arrangement relating to the attribution of the World Cup in Qatar – a track confirmed at World by two sources close to the investigation.
At the end of 2011, Laurent Platini was, according to Mediapart, recruited as provisional general manager by the company Burrda Sport, the sports equipment supplier of the emirate, a subsidiary of the Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) fund.
However, QSI bought Paris-Saint-Germain in May 2011, several months after a lunch organized at the Elysee Palace on November 23, 2010, by Nicolas Sarkozy. This lunch feeds the suspicions of collusion of interests insofar as PSG was sold to Qatar by the American fund Colony Capital, whose representative in Europe was then the businessman Sébastien Bazin, a friend of the former head of state.
Notes found in Sébastien Bazin’s archives
Contacted by The world this summer, Sébastien Bazin assured that he “Never asked for help from Nicolas Sarkozy in connection with this sale of PSG”. The former head of state did not respond to our requests.
Mediapart evokes documents seized in the Parisian premises of Colony Capital Europe in June 2019. On a handwritten note, the investigators discovered a mention of the future salary that Qatar will have to pay Laurent Platini. “70% / 30% – Laurent Platini back of salary (€ 150,000 to be verified !!)”, can we read there. According to the site, “The note shows, in fact, that the hiring of Laurent Platini and the amount of his salary were an integral part of the negotiation [du] buyout of the club, in the same way as the distribution of capital (“70 %/30 %”). »
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