Sunday 4 December 2016

Suspended FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke faces nine-year ban

Martyn Ziegler

Published 05/01/2016 | 15:32

Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke
Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke

Suspended FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke is facing a nine-year ban after an ethics investigation into several alleged offences including being connected to black market sales of World Cup tickets.

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FIFA's investigatory chamber has finished its probe into Frenchman's activities and has recommended a nine-year ban and a 100,000 Swiss franc fine on charges including conflicts of interest and offering and accepting gifts and other benefits.

Valcke was suspended in September after allegations were made claiming he planned to benefit from black market World Cup ticket sales. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Last month, FIFA president Sepp Blatter and UEFA president Michel Platini were both banned for eight years by the ethics committee.

Dr Cornel Borbely, chairman of FIFA's ethics committee investigatory chamber, has handed over his report on Valcke and recommendations to the adjudicatory chamber chaired by German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert.

Valcke's 90-day suspension from all football-related activities ends at midnight on Tuesday but a 45-day extension has been requested by Borbely.

A statement from FIFA's ethics committee said: "The chairman of the investigatory chamber recommended imposing a sanction of a nine-year ban and a fine of 100,000 Swiss francs on Mr Valcke for alleged violation of the general rules of conduct, loyalty, confidentiality, duty of disclosure, cooperation and reporting, conflicts of interest, offering and accepting gifts and other benefits, and general obligation to collaborate.

"Until a formal decision is taken by the adjudicatory chamber of the ethics committee, Mr Valcke is presumed innocent."

Valcke was suspended after emails and documents were released which suggested he was aware that a Swiss marketing company was selling off World Cup and Confederation Cup tickets for almost five times their face value.

The emails and documents show Valcke signed off contracts with Swiss firm JB Sports Marketing AG for category one tickets for a number of matches. The company also claims it entered into a profit-sharing agreement with Valcke - though no money changed hands - and he strongly denies asking for or receiving any money from JB Sports.

The allegations are also being investigated by the Swiss attorney general - FIFA handed over Valcke's emails to prosecutors shortly after his suspension.

Sources close to Valcke said he believed his decision not to run for the FIFA presidency had led to his suspension from his job - and in order to boost Blatter's faltering image.

A week before his suspension in September, Valcke had told Blatter that he wanted to end his contract early and had been trying to negotiate a multi-million pound pay-off.

Blatter and Platini were banned for eight years for offences including conflict of interest surrounding a £1.3million payment, signed off by Blatter, made to the Frenchman in 2011. The pair had insisted it was a debt owed to Platini for an oral agreement made between the two of them 13 years previously. They are expected to lodge appeals against the bans.

Press Association

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