FIFA’s Secretary General, Jerome Valcke, who has been the right-hand man of outgoing FIFA president, Sepp Blatter, has been relieved of his duties until further notice.
According to a statement by FIFA, the 54 year old was suspended over allegations of involvement in a ticketing scam and placed under investigation by the FIFA Ethics Committee.
The statement reads; “Valcke has been put on leave and released from his duties effective immediately until further notice,”
“Further, FIFA has been made aware of a series of allegations involving the secretary-general and has requested a formal investigation by the FIFA Ethics Committee.”
A newspaper allegation on Thursday, accused Valcke with claims of involvement in a scam to sell World Cup tickets at vastly inflated prices and take a slice of the profits
The claims were made by Benny Alon, an American-Israeli consultant at a company which had a deal with FIFA to sell tickets at the 2014 World Cup. The contract was subsequently cancelled.
The Frenchman now faces an investigation by FIFA’s ethics committee, which would almost certainly rule him out of returning to work before a new president is elected.
However, Valcke who has held his role at FIFA since 2007, has denied the allegations in a strongly worded statement issued by Valcke’s US-based lawyer, Barry Berke.
“Jerome Valcke unequivocally denies the fabricated and outrageous accusations by Benny Alon of alleged wrongdoing in connection with the sale of World Cup tickets,”
“Valcke never received or agreed to accept any money or anything else of value from Mr Alon”
“All dealings between Valcke and Alon’s company had been cleared by FIFA’s legal department.”
Football’s world governing body, FIFA, has been engulfed by claims of widespread corruption scandal since May, with the latest being the extradition of a former FIFA vice-president Eugenio Figueredo to the United States on corruption probe.
The Swiss Federal Office of Justice (FOJ), on Thursday, agreed to surrender Eugenio Figueredo to United States prosecutors four months after the Uruguayan and six other senior officials were arrested in dawn raids on FIFA’s luxury Zurich hotel.
FIFA has recently set up a taskforce to tackle corruption which aims to restore the integrity and reputation of the organization.