Press Play and Listen to this article on Nyongesa Sande!!
Nasser bin Ghanim Al-Khelaifi (Arabic: ناصر بن غانم الخليفي; born 12 November 1973) is a Qatari businessman and is the chairman of beIN Media Group, chairman of Qatar Sports Investments, president of Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Qatar Tennis Federation (QTF), and vice president of the Asian Tennis Federation for West Asia (ATF).
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. He has been elected as the chairman of the European Club Association (ECA) following the resignation of Andrea Agnelli.
Nasser Al-Khelaifi is the Group Chairman of beIN MEDIA GROUP, the leading independent sports, entertainment and media group operating in 43 countries around the world.
In forming beIN MEDIA GROUP in 2014, Mr Al-Khelaifi orchestrated the transitioning of Al Jazeera Sport into beIN SPORTS and became the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of beIN MEDIA GROUP.
In his roles, Nasser Al-Khelaifi has led a rapid growth strategy to create one of the world’s most successful sports and entertainment brands. The group provides significant investment in grassroots and professional sports all around the world through its unparalleled sports rights portfolio; while also driving original content creation, production and distribution in the entertainment industry.
Mr Al-Khelaifi has overseen the launch of beIN SPORTS MENA, beIN SPORTS France, beIN SPORTS Americas, beIN SPORTS Asia-Pacific, beIN SPORTS Australia and beIN SPORTS Spain, whilst expanding beIN MENA to include movies, general entertainment, factual and kids content. In 2016, Mr Al-Khelaifi also acquired the Hollywood film studio, Miramax, which holds one of the richest portfolios (and pipelines) of international award winning films. More recently, under Nasser Al-Khelaifi’s leadership, beIN MEDIA GROUP acquired the largest Turkish Pay-TV platform Digiturk.
As a result of beIN MEDIA GROUP’s growth and international success, Nasser Al-Khelaifi is considered a visionary leader in the media industry.
Nasser’s rise to the top of the media industry followed a successful career as a professional tennis player, playing in the Davis Cup for Qatar. Nasser Al-Khelaifi then started his TV career in 2003 as Director of Rights Acquisitions of Al Jazeera Sport, when the channel was first launched. In 2008, he was promoted to General Manager of the Qatari-based sports channel and was made chairman of Qatar Sports Investments.
Alongside Mr Al-Khelaifi’s role as Group Chairman of beIN MEDIA GROUP, he is also the President of Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) Football Club, Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), the Qatar Tennis Federation (QTF), the Qatar Squash Foundation (QSF) and vice president of the Asian Tennis Federation for West Asia (ATF).
Mr Al-Khelaifi’s years of sport and television experience have led to numerous accolades. In 2016, the French premier footballing magazine, L’Equipe, named him “the most powerful man in French football” and in 2020, he was named the most influential person in football by France Football. In 2019, he was elected by the European Club Association as a delegate at the UEFA Executive Committee, becoming the first leader from Asia to hold a UEFA position.
Beyond media and football, Mr Al-Khelaifi was a former ATP ranked tennis player who played on the international circuit, playing between 1992 and 2002.
Early life and education of Nasser bin Ghanim Al-Khelaifi
Al-Khelaifi was born in Qatar, a son of a pearl fisherman, and graduated with an Economics Degree from Qatar University. He also has a post graduate degree from University of Piraeus.
As a tennis professional, Al-Khelaifi was the second most successful member of the Qatar Davis Cup team after Sultan Khalfan, playing 43 ties 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. He also won the GCC Team Tournament.
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. Nasser bin Ghanim Al-Khelaifi
Qatar Sports Investments
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.
Following the QSi acquisition of Paris Saint-Germain Football Club in June 2011, Nasser Al-Khelaifi became the chairman of the board of PSG and also CEO of the club, reinforcing Qatari interest in French football.
QSi has several other high-profile partnerships. They also sponsor Spanish football club Barcelona. QSi also owns the Burrda sportswear brand.
Nasser Al-Khelaifi became the new president and chief executive officer of Paris Saint-Germain on 7 October 2011. Shortly after being named president, he presented a five-year plan to take Paris Saint-German to the top of the tree in France and abroad. As part of the long-term plan for the club, Al-Khelaifi brought in former footballer Leonardo as the new director of football.
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.
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 Barcelona on away goals.
In the 2013–14 season PSG again finished top of Ligue 1 with a record total of 89 points. 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
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. 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
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. 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.
Government of Qatar
In November 2013, Nasser Al-Khelaifi was made Minister without Portfolio in the Qatari government by the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim.
In February 2012, he won a French ‘Sport Business’ award, receiving the most votes out of 1,500 and finishing ahead of nine people.
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.
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.
In 2020, he was named the most influential person in football by France Football.
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.
Personal life of Nasser bin Ghanim Al-Khelaifi
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.