Le Equipe reports that the 49-year-old Qatari businessman orchestrated the kidnapping and torture of a lobbyist who had “sensitive information” about him.
Al-Khelaifi's alleged kidnapping in a serious crime puts PSG in the spotlight
The incident reportedly occurred over six months in Qatar, the homeland of Al-Khelaifi. The alleged lobbyist is 42-year-old French-Algerian Tayeb Benabderrahmane.
Benabderrahman alleges that Al-Khelaifi tortured him and compelled him to sign a confidentiality agreement regarding incriminating documents. These documents reportedly pertain to Qatar's World Cup bid and BeIN Media's broadcast rights for the 2026 and 2030 games. And they're stored on Al-Khelaifi's phone.
Al-Khelaifi is chairman of beIN Media Group. Before his acquittal in October 2020, authorities accused Al-Khelaifi of making a pact with former FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke.
Al-Khelaifi has promptly responded to the kidnapping allegations, telling the Sun, “You are talking about professional criminals. They've changed their lawyers more times than they've changed their stories and their lies.
“It is the ultimate media manipulation. I'm just amazed so many people have taken their lies and contradictions as credible – but that's the media world we're in today. Justice will run its course – I don't have time to talk about petty professional criminals.”
“Mr Tayeb is an internationally renowned criminal. It's an utter joke – half of Tayeb's ex-lawyers are suing him for blackmail and fraud. Tayeb will be imprisoned before the year is out,” Al-Khelaifi's reps told Breaking The Lines journalist Zach Lowy.
The breaking news follows on the heels of PSG defender Achraf Hakimi's alleged sexual assault case. Yesterday, French prosecutors investigated Hakimi for involvement in a rape of a young woman on February 25 at the player's Paris home.