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 and the Qatar Tennis Federation, and vice president of the Asian Tennis Federation for West Asia.[3][4]

Nasser Al-Khelaifi
Nasser Al-Khelaifi in 2014
Full nameNasser bin Ghanim Al-Khelaifi
Country (sports)Qatar
Born (1973-11-12) 12 November 1973 (age 49)
Doha, Qatar
Turned pro1992
PlaysRight handed
Career record0–2 (at ATP Tour level, Grand Slam level, and in Davis Cup)
Career titles0
Highest rankingNo. 995 (4 November 2002)
Career record0–2 (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.

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,[5] 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,[6] 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 2002. He reached a career-high singles ranking of No. 995 in late 2002.[7][8] He also won the GCC Team Tournament.

Post-playing career Edit

Nasser Al-Khelaifi has been president of the Qatar Tennis Federation (QTF) since November 2008. In 2011, he was elected vice-president of the Asian Tennis Federation (ATF) for West Asia.[9]

Business career Edit

Qatar Sports Investments Edit

Nasser Al-Khelaifi has been chairman of Qatar Sports Investments (QSi) from June 2011. QSi is a sovereign wealth 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 (PSG) football club in June 2011,[10] Nasser Al-Khelaifi became the chairman of the board of PSG and also CEO of the club,[11] reinforcing Qatari interest in French football.

QSi has several other high-profile partnerships. QSi also owns the Burrda sportswear brand.[12]

Paris Saint-Germain Edit

Nasser Al-Khelaifi became the new president and chief executive officer of Paris Saint-Germain on 7 October 2011.[13] 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.[14] As part of the long-term plan for the club, Al-Khelaifi brought in former footballer Leonardo as the new director of football.[15]

Although Al-Khelaifi 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 spend $130 million on players. PSG failed to dominate, and lost out to eventual winners Montpellier, though they qualified for the UEFA Champions League by finishing second.[16]

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.[17] 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

In the 2018–19 UEFA Champions League knockout phase, they lost to Manchester United at home after leading with two goals at Old Trafford in 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.[18] 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's global operations were spun out of Al Jazeera Media Network (AJMN) and rebranded as beIN Sports.[19] A few months later, beIN Media Group was incorporated and became the official owner of beIN Sports branded networks as well as all other non-news and current affairs assets originally belonging to AJMN.[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.[promotion?]

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 Middle East and North Africa international media market.[20] On 30 October 2020, Nasser Al-Khelaifi was cleared of the case over the awarding of television rights for the World Cup. Al-Khelaifi had been accused of aggravated criminal mismanagement for his alleged part in a corruption trial involving former FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke. However, Valcke was found guilty of forging documents related to television rights for the World Cup and was fined 24,000 Swiss francs ($26,500). According to the Swiss attorney general’s office, alleged that Valcke exploited his FIFA role between 2013 and 2015 to favour media partners that he preferred by providing the media rights for various World Cup and Confederations Cup tournaments.[21]

Political career Edit

In November 2013, Al-Khelaifi was made minister without portfolio in the Qatari government by the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim.[22]

Legal proceedings Edit

Al-Khelaifi had been charged with corruption in May 2019 after being accused of attempting to buy the rights to host the 2017 World Athletics Championships for Doha.[23]

NAK was charged by Swiss federal prosecutors in connection with a wider bribery investigation linked to World Cup television rights in February 2020. However, Khelaifi stated that he has been cleared of all suspicions of bribery and the case has been dismissed definitively and conclusively. [24]

On 9 March 2022, after Paris Saint-Germain's 1–3 away loss (2–3 aggregate score) to Real Madrid in the 2021–22 UEFA Champions League round of 16, Al-Khelaifi allegedly assaulted a linesman and broke his flag and threatened a Madrid employee with murder.[25][26][27] Following investigation, UEFA cleared Al-Khelaifi of all charges related to the match.[28][29]

Three investigating judges from the Paris court have been appointed in February 2023 to investigate the accusations of kidnapping, sequestration and torture of a Franco-Algerian lobbyist, Tayeb Benabderrahmane, which targeted Al-Khelaïfi.[30] And the former lawyer of the lobbyist, Olivier Pardo, stated that the lobbyist stole personal recordings of Al-Khelaïfi, of attempting to blackmail Al-Khelaifi for “several tens of millions of euros”. [31]

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.[32]

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.[33][34]

In 2019, he was elected by the European Club Association as delegate at the UEFA executive committee, becoming the first Arab to hold an UEFA position.[35]

In 2020, he was named the most influential person in football by France Football.[36]

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.[37]

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.[38]

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".
  3. ^ "About Us". Qatar Tennis Federation (QTF). Archived from the original on 15 July 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2011.
  4. ^ Gabilondo, Aritz (14 February 2023). "Is PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi going to take over Manchester United?". Diario AS. Retrieved 20 February 2023.
  5. ^ " – Organising Committee for the FIFA Club World Cup". FIFA. Archived from the original on 25 June 2011.
  6. ^ "Who is the PSG chairman? Nasser Al-Khelaifi's net worth & Qatar ownership". 18 June 2019.
  7. ^ " Profile". ATP Tour, Inc. Retrieved 1 December 2011.
  8. ^ " Men's Circuit record". ITF Licensing (UK) Ltd. Retrieved 1 December 2011.
  9. ^ "Qatar Tennis Federation – QTF – Qatar Tennis Tournaments and Championships". Archived from the original on 14 July 2015. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  10. ^ "Qatari group takes control of Paris Saint-Germain".
  11. ^ "Presidents – club_presidents".
  12. ^ "Portfolio".
  13. ^ "Jean-Claude Blanc Directeur Général Délégué". 7 October 2011.
  14. ^ "PSG: 'We want the new Messi'". Ligue 1. 1 July 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  15. ^ PSG.FR : Liste des présidents (in French)
  16. ^ "PS aiming to bounce back after French Club failure".
  17. ^ "Les records du PSG cette saison". Le Parisien. 19 May 2014.
  18. ^ "Après le PSG, Qatar Sport Investments devient propriétaire du Paris Handball". 20 Minutes. 4 June 2012.
  19. ^ "BeIN Sports Timeline". Retrieved 15 October 2022.
  20. ^ Panja, Tariq (21 November 2017). "Nasser Al-Khelaifi Discussed Buying Company Linked to Bribes". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 15 October 2022.
  21. ^ "BeIN sports chairman cleared in TV rights case, ex-FIFA exec guilty of falsifying documents". Reuters. 30 October 2020. Retrieved 15 October 2022.
  22. ^ "Nasser Al-Khelaïfi nommé ministre au Qatar" (in French). 2 December 2013. Archived from the original on 5 December 2013. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
  23. ^ "PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi charged with corruption after being accused of trying to buy 2017 World Athletics Championships". 23 May 2019.
  24. ^ "Swiss prosecutors charge PSG president Nasser al-Khelaifi in Fifa bribery case". 20 February 2020.
  25. ^ "Al Khelaïfi no se irá de rositas". (in Spanish). 10 March 2022. Retrieved 18 March 2022.
  26. ^ Summerscales, Robert. "PSG President Nasser Al-Khelaifi Accused Of Threatening To "Kill" Real Madrid Employee". Futbol on FanNation. Retrieved 18 March 2022.
  27. ^ Reporter, Martyn Ziegler, Chief Sports. "PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi under investigation after furious confrontation with referee". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 18 March 2022.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  28. ^ "Uefa to investigate PSG pair". BBC Sport. 10 March 2022. Retrieved 18 March 2022.
  29. ^ "UEFA clears Nasser al-Khelaifi, bans Leonardo in PSG investigation". The Indian Express. 18 June 2022.
  30. ^ "PSG. Nasser Al-Khelaïfi est visé par une enquête pour enlèvement, séquestration et torture". 27 February 2023.
  31. ^ "Lobbyist accused by his former lawyer of attempting to blackmail Nasser Al-Khelaifi". 26 October 2022.
  32. ^ "Paris Saint-Germain official website". EN. Retrieved 25 May 2019.
  33. ^ "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.
  34. ^ "Al-Khelaïfi : "J'ai beaucoup appris au contact des autres présidents de L1"". France Football (in French). Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  35. ^ PSG chairman Al-Khelaifi to join top UEFA body amid probes – Rob Harris, AP, 30 January 2019
  36. ^ "Qatar's Nasser al-Khelaifi named most influential person in football". Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  37. ^ "WCoronavirus : Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, le président du PSG, propose d'aider l'OMS". 24 March 2020.
  38. ^ "Nasser al-Khelaifi, un ambassadeur bis au service exclusif du Qatar - Challenges". (in French). 12 March 2015. Retrieved 18 March 2022.