Nasser Al-Khelaifi, Paris Saint-Germain CEO and chairman, has dismissed criticisms of the Qatar World Cup. He stated that he believes it has been “perfect.”
The Qatari businessman and chairman of beIN Media Group, which is a global sports and entertainment broadcaster, addressed former FIFA President Sepp Blatter’s comments about the Qatari event as “a mistake” in a broad interview.
Media are now “in love with Qatar”
“It is unfair that people say this all the time,” Al-Khelaifi said. Fans, media, partners, right holders, and others can see the greatest World Cup ever. Al-Khelaifi stated that we have everything.
Anderson was also informed by the PSG Chairman that he believed media criticism of the country stemmed from the fact that not many people had visited Qatar.
He said, “One of the largest media has] asked me to interview for years.” “I said, “I don’t think I’m going to do any interview until your come to Qatar.
“You can visit any place, anytime, and I will interview you.” They were skeptical before. Trust me. Then they came to Qatar and fell in love with Qatar.
PSG is open to sales of up to 15%
Anderson was also informed by Al-Khelaifi that PSG is open for the sale of a 15% stake in the club.
Qatari sovereign wealth fund QSI (which Al-Khelaifi also chairs) recently valued the French soccer superpower, home to stars such as Lionel Messi, Kylian Mabappe, and Neymar Jr., at more than $4 billion.
He stated that “we are open to selling minority shares, strategic shares,”
“I think it’s great news for the club, and it’s proven also that we’re doing a fantastic job at the club. It was bought for about 70 million. So, is it a good investment?
The right bidder
In 2011, QSI assumed control of PSG. The men’s team won a total of 28 trophies in the 11 years since QSI took control of PSG. This includes eight Ligue 1 titles. The club has yet not won the Champions League. However, PSG reached 2020 final before being defeated by Bayern.
Anderson, 49, stated that PSG would like any bidder to make a long-term commitment.
He said, “It depends on the owner, to be honest.” Some owners have long-term strategic projects like us. Others just want to make a quick buck or invest in a short-term fund that will help them develop their brand and restructure the club before they sell it.
“We love football but it’s also an investment project.”
European Super League is a ‘ridiculous Idea’
Al-Khelaifi was one of the most vocal opponents of the recent attempt by some of Europe’s wealthiest clubs to create a new European Super League.
Anderson, 49 years old, told Anderson he was against the idea but not against other changes.
“I believe that this is unfair for small and medium clubs. It is important to keep the possibility open for all, fans, clubs, and owners. Do you see what I’m referring to? He explained that it was absurd to think of a Super League.
“I don’t oppose any changes. Yes, I would love to play more matches at the European level. It’s not something I hide.
“But I believe there should be very clear open leagues, and that’s exactly what we’re doing in ’24. Al-Khelaifil said, “I think this format will work great.” He was referring to the 2024 expansion of the Champions League, which will see the competition grow from 32 to 36 teams.
UEFA ‘doing a remarkable job
Al-Khelaifi, a Qatari national, told Anderson that he also serves on the board of UEFA. Anderson said that he believes that the organization does an “amazing job” to “protect everyone.”
“We have the ecosystem for football. He said that it’s not about just 12 clubs, eight clubs, or four clubs. They want those clubs to be at the highest level. They don’t want anyone to compete with them. Is that fair? Not at all.”
Messi, Mbappe, and Neymar
PSG holds three of the most important World Cup stars and is keen to be involved in the tournament. Rumors of their futures have been frequent, with speculation rife.
Anderson was informed by Al-Khelaifi that PSG has a two-year agreement with Messi. However, he will be discussing his next steps once the tournament is over.
“I am so proud of him, the things he has done for our club, the contributions he makes to the club, and the joy he brings to the club.
He said, “After the World Cup, we going to begin that discussion.” “We will see what is best for both.
However, if there is mutual interest and we both want him to stay, he will. He will leave if one of us does not want to.
He also denied any suggestion that Mbappe was dissatisfied with the club.
“Can you see him?” He’s happy. He’s very professional, competitive, and scores goals. He’s French, originally from Paris, so he is Parisian.
Brazil’s Neymar suffered a broken ankle during the opening match of their World Cup against Serbia. Anderson was told by Al-Khelaifi that the star would be fine for the knock-out stages of the tournament, but that he needed referees to provide him with more protection.
“I believe he will be fine for Round 16. He is injured and he’s very unlucky. He said, “I feel sorry for him.”
“He is an incredible talent, and the world must protect him so that the fans can enjoy Neymar at the World Cup.”