Nasser Al-Khelaifi

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Nasser Al-Khelaifi
Nasser Al-Khelaifi.jpg
Nasser Al-Khelaifi in 2014
Full nameNasser bin Ghanim Al-Khelaifi
Country (sports)Qatar
ResidenceQatar
Born (1973-11-12) 12 November 1973 (age 47)
Doha, Qatar
Turned pro1992
Retired2004
PlaysRight handed
Singles
Career record12–33 (at ATP Tour level, Grand Slam level, and in Davis Cup)
Career titles0
Highest rankingNo. 995 (4 November 2002)
Doubles
Career record12–18 (at ATP Tour level, Grand Slam level, and in Davis Cup)
Career titles0
Highest rankingNo. 1040 (8 February 1993)
Last updated on: 20 May 2013.

Nasser bin Ghanim Al-Khelaifi (Arabic: ناصر بن غانم الخليفي‎; born 12 November 1973) is a Qatari businessman and the chairman of beIN Media Group,[1] chairman of Qatar Sports Investments,[2] president of Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Qatar Tennis Federation (QTF), and vice president of the Asian Tennis Federation for West Asia (ATF).[3]

Al-Khelaifi is the president and chief executive officer of Paris Saint-Germain in France. He is also a member of the organizing committee for the FIFA Club World Cup,[4] and has been elected as the chairman of the European Club Association (ECA).

Early life and education[edit]

Al-Khelaifi was born in Qatar, a son of a pearl fisherman,[5] and graduated with an Economics Degree from Qatar University. He also has a post graduate degree in Maritime Studies from University of Piraeus.

Tennis career[edit]

Playing career[edit]

Al-Khelaifi and Karim Alami spectating the 2012 Qatar Open

As a tennis professional, Al-Khelaifi was the second most successful member of the Qatar Davis Cup team after Sultan Khalfan, playing 43 times between 1992 and 2002 and compiling a 12–31 record in singles, 12–16 in doubles. Al-Khelaifi appeared twice on the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) main tour, losing each time in his first round matches in St. Pölten in 1996 (where he lost to former French Open Champion Thomas Muster) and in Doha in 2001. He reached a career-high singles ranking of No. 995 in late 2002.[6][7] He also won the GCC Team Tournament.

Post-playing career[edit]

Nasser Al-Khelaifi has been president of the Qatar Tennis Federation since November 2008. In 2011, he was elected vice-president of the Asian Tennis Federation for West Asia.[8]

Business career[edit]

Qatar Sports Investments[edit]

Nasser Al-Khelaifi has been chairman of Qatar Sports Investments (QSi) from June 2011. QSi is a fund dedicated to investments in the sport and leisure industry on a national and international level.[2]

Following the QSi acquisition of Paris Saint-Germain Football Club in June 2011,[9] Nasser Al-Khelaifi became the chairman of the board of PSG and also CEO of the club,[10] reinforcing Qatari interest in French football.

QSi has several other high-profile partnerships. They also sponsor Spanish football club FC Barcelona. QSi also owns the Burrda sportswear brand.[11]

Paris Saint-Germain[edit]

Nasser Al-Khelaifi became the new president and chief executive officer of Paris Saint-Germain on 7 October 2011.[12] Shortly after being named president, he presented a five-year plan to take Paris Saint-Germain to the top of the tree in France and abroad.[13] As part of the long-term plan for the club, Al-Khelaifi brought in former footballer Leonardo as the new director of football.[14]

Although Al-Khelaifi had initially demanded a major trophy haul for the 2011–12 season, PSG were soon eliminated from the UEFA Europa League and both domestic cups, leaving the team only able to compete $130 million on players, PSG failed to dominate, and lost out to eventual winners Montpellier, though they did qualify for the UEFA Champions League by finishing second.[15]

Zlatan Ibrahimović unveiled by Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo (right) and President Nasser Al-Khelaifi (left)

In the 2012–13 season, PSG won the Ligue 1 title and also made it to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League, thanks partly to the goalscoring of newly signed striker, Zlatan Ibrahimović. They eventually lost in a two-legged tie to FC Barcelona on away goals.

In the 2013–14 season PSG again finished top of Ligue 1 with a record total of 89 points.[16] They reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League where they lost to Chelsea 3–3 on aggregate, again going out only on the away goals rule.

Nasser Al-Khelaifi (left) with Neymar in August 2017 in the Parc des Princes

Again they reached the 2018–19 UEFA champions league knock phase where they lost to Manchester United at home after leading with 2 goals at Old Trafford on the first leg. PSG lost at home 1–3 (3–3 on aggregate) and were knocked out by the away goal rule.

In June 2012, QSi acquired the Paris Handball Club and merged it with the PSG sport franchise to create a wider and more competitive sport offer to the city of Paris.[17] Since 2012, Paris Saint-Germain Handball has won the LNH Division 1 five times, while reaching the EHF Champions League final in 2016–17 and the semi-finals in 2015–16 and 2017–18.

beIN Media Group[edit]

On 31 December 2013, Al Jazeera Sport global operations were spun off from Al Jazeera Media Network and rebranded as beIN Sports. In parallel, BeIN Media Group was incorporated and became the official owner of beIN Sports. Nasser Al-Khelaifi was then appointed chairman and chief executive officer of beIN Media Group.[1] beIN Sports has 22 channels including 17 HD channels and broadcasts across the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, North America, Australia and Asia. The strategy, aside from building the beIN premium sports network, is to develop the group's ambitions in sports and entertainment in production, distribution and digital media sectors.

Political career[edit]

In November 2013, Al-Khelaifi was made minister without portfolio in the Qatari government by the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim.[18]

Legal trouble[edit]

In October 2017, the Swiss courts opened an investigation against him for suspicion of private corruption in the allocation of television rights for the World Cups 2026 and 2030 for the North Africa and Middle East zone. In March 2019, he is placed under the status of witness assisted by the French courts.[citation needed]

On 23 May 2019, he was indicted for active bribery in an investigation into the 2017 and 2019 Doha nominations for the World Championships in Athletics. "These facts do not concern him", pleads his lawyer who believes that Nasser Al-Khelaifi is innocent.[citation needed]

In February 2020, Swiss prosecutors dropped the charge of bribery but indicted Al-Khelaifi for inciting Jérôme Valcke "to commit aggravated criminal mismanagement."[19]

On 27 March 2020, the Swiss Federal Court rejected the prosecution's indictment against Al-Khelaifi for inciting Jérôme Valcke to commit criminal mismanagement, stating that "These conditions of mismanagement are absent from the OAG's [Swiss prosecution's] accusation".[20]

On 14 September 2020, the Swiss Federal Court started to prosecute Al-Khelaifi, due to "aggravated criminal mismanagement", based on charges related to a meeting on October 24, 2013, at the French headquarters of beIN, in which Al-Khelaifi allegedly promised to purchase a villa in Sardinia for €5m, to be utilized by Valcke, in exchange to granting the 2026 and 2030 World Cups screening rights to beIN Media.[21] Al-Khelaifi was acquitted by the court in October 2020.[22]

Awards and honors[edit]

In February 2012, he won a French 'Sport Business' award, receiving the most votes out of 1,500 and finishing ahead of nine people.[23]

His growing influence in the sport was recognised in 2015 when he was voted 'favourite Ligue 1 president' in a poll conducted by France Football, with 35% of the votes cast.

In 2016, the French daily sport newspaper L'Équipe named him the 'most powerful man in French football' in a 30-man list, ahead of such notable individuals as Didier Deschamps and Zinedine Zidane.[24][25]

In 2019, he was elected by the European Club Association as delegate at the UEFA executive committee, becoming the first oriental to hold an UEFA position.[26]

In 2020, he was named the most influential person in football by France Football.[27]

In March 2020, Al-Khelaifi was praised by World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus after offering to help in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic by using his players and club to send health advice messages to the public.[28]

Personal life[edit]

He is close to the Emir, Sheikh Tamim, head of sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority.

He is married, and has four children who reside in Qatar.[29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b beIN SPORTS France (27 May 2014). "Mr. Yousef Al-Obaidly Appointed President of beIN SPORTS France". PR Newswire.
  2. ^ a b "Who we are". qsi.com.qa.
  3. ^ "About Us". qatartennis.org. Qatar Tennis Federation (QTF). Archived from the original on 15 July 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2011.
  4. ^ "FIFA.com – Organising Committee for the FIFA Club World Cup". FIFA.
  5. ^ "Who is the PSG chairman? Nasser Al-Khelaifi's net worth & Qatar ownership". Goal.com. 18 June 2019.
  6. ^ "atpworldtour.com Profile". atpworldtour.com. ATP Tour, Inc. Retrieved 1 December 2011.
  7. ^ "itftennis.com Men's Circuit record". itftennis.com. ITF Licensing (UK) Ltd. Retrieved 1 December 2011.
  8. ^ "Qatar Tennis Federation – QTF – Qatar Tennis Tournaments and Championships". qatartennis.org. Archived from the original on 14 July 2015. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  9. ^ "Qatari group takes control of Paris Saint-Germain".
  10. ^ "Presidents – club_presidents". psg.fr.
  11. ^ "Portfolio". qsi.com.qa.
  12. ^ "Jean-Claude Blanc Directeur Général Délégué". 7 October 2011.
  13. ^ "PSG: 'We want the new Messi'". Ligue 1. 1 July 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  14. ^ PSG.FR : Liste des présidents (in French)
  15. ^ "PS aiming to bounce back after French Club failure".
  16. ^ "Les records du PSG cette saison". Le Parisien. 19 May 2014.
  17. ^ "Après le PSG, Qatar Sport Investments devient propriétaire du Paris Handball". 20 Minutes.
  18. ^ "Nasser Al-Khelaïfi nommé ministre au Qatar" (in French). football365.fr. 2 December 2013. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
  19. ^ Robinson, Joshua (20 February 2020). "Paris Saint-Germain Chief and a Former FIFA Executive Charged by Swiss Prosecutors". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 21 February 2020.
  20. ^ "Swiss Federal Court rejects Al-Khelaifi corruption indictment". www.sportspromedia.com. 30 March 2020. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  21. ^ "PSG president Al-Khelaifi and ex-FIFA Sec Gen Valke go on trial in Switzerland". euronews.com. 14 September 2020.
  22. ^ "PSG president acquitted in Swiss corruption trial". The Independent. 30 October 2020. Retrieved 18 November 2020.
  23. ^ "Paris Saint-Germain official website". EN. Retrieved 25 May 2019.
  24. ^ "Nasser Al Khelaifi | Le top 30 du foot français – L'ÉQUIPE.FR". L'Équipe (in French). Archived from the original on 10 January 2016. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  25. ^ "Al-Khelaïfi : "J'ai beaucoup appris au contact des autres présidents de L1"". France Football (in French). Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  26. ^ PSG chairman Al-Khelaifi to join top UEFA body amid probes – Rob Harris, AP, 30 January 2019
  27. ^ "Qatar's Nasser al-Khelaifi named most influential person in football". middleeasteye.net. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  28. ^ "WCoronavirus : Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, le président du PSG, propose d'aider l'OMS". leparisien.fr. 24 March 2020.
  29. ^ Nasser Al-Khelaïfi : Le portrait =https://www.challenges.fr/sport/nasser-al-khelaifi-un-ambassadeur-bis-au-service-exclusif-du-qatar_59000.amp