This is a dangerous exercise for Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, heard by the Swiss justice Wednesday October 25. The president of Paris Saint-Germain and BeIN Media is accused of having used his interpersonal skills to obtain the television rights to the 2026 and 2030 World Cups, by making available a Sardinian villa at number 2 of the Fifa, Jérôme Valcke. Having become one of the most powerful men in the world of football, the Qatari is also one of the best ambassadors of the emirate abroad. Franceinfo returns to the journey and the personality of this atypical and discreet figure, halfway between the sports and political fields.
About Nasser Al-Khelaïfi
Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, 43, comes from the middle strata of Qatar. “I am from a normal family , explained the interested party in The JDD , a few years ago. I have four brothers and a sister. My father worked in the ports” , like pearl fisherman. Father of four, he remains discreet about his private life. His relatives understood the message. When a journalist wants to question the Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal, one of his friends, he is quickly turned away: “Do you have permission from Nasser? I want to check first.”
The little yellow ball before the round ball
Before arriving at the ball, Nasser Al-Khelaïfi first devoted himself to the little yellow ball, from the age of 11. In 1995, he went to the Vespins tennis club in Saint-Laurent-du-Var, reports Le Monde . Member of the Qatari team, he trains five months a year on the Côte d’Azur, from 1998 to 2000, at the Tennis Club Nice Giordan. One of his partners at the time, Pascal Chappat, remembers for So Foot a trip to Annecy, after a badly digested meal: “During the whole trip, with one or two teammates, we let go of these things in the car. Nasser was laughing with us. He was like that, always smiling. “
Then on a mission for the Qatari Tennis Federation, in 1998, the latter accompanied the future president of PSG on a road trip through the sand dunes. “It was already starting to gain importance and that day, he was wearing a PSG t-shirt.” It was premonitory. After unearthing the photo, in 2012, Jacques Hervet sent it to his former trip partner. He is still waiting for an answer. You can visit https://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/who-is-the-psg-chairman-nasser-al-khelaifis-net-worth-qatar/1qceaqzo6n54t1wuvs1nt0xbg1 for a complete briefing about him.
After the Court
After eleven years on the courts, the record of the player is modest: 28 victories for 73 defeats, with a place of 995th in the world classification, in 2002. The passion, it, remains intact. Nasser Al-Khelaïfi is still president of the Qatari Tennis Federation and annually awards the trophies for the ATP tournament in Doha.
At that time, especially, Nasser Al-Khelaïfi met the future emir of Qatar, Tamim ben Hamad Al-Thani, six years younger and also a tennis player. Their friendship was born in 1992, during a Qatar Open. “I consider him a brother,” summarized Nasser Al-Khelaïfi in L’Equipe Magazine . But when we faced each other in tennis, it was the match of a tennis player against another tennis player. “