The Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) has today suspended Mr Jerome Valcke, the Secretary General of the body.
Valcke’s suspension comes in the wake of allegations implicating him in selling World Cup tickets above face value and fraudulently awarding the two World Cups to Russia and Qatar in 2018 and 2022, respectively.
“Jerome Valcke has been suspended, put on leave and released from all his duties until further notice,“ Walter De Gregio, the FIFA spokesman was quoted saying. FIFA has been aware of the allegations and has now requested the ethics committee to investigate the matter.
The 54-year old Frenchman has however denied and termed the allegations as ‘fabricated’ and outrageous.
Regarded as embattled former FIFA boss Sepp Blatter’s right hand man, Valcke joined FIFA as a sports journalist in 1984; he was made the FIFA Director of Marketing and Head of Television in 2003 before being elected as the Secretary General in 2007.
At the time of the suspension, Valcke was travelling to Moscow to mark ‘1000 days to go’ for the 2018 Russia World Cup and was also planning to run for the FIFA presidency after president Blatter announced he was stepping down in June.
His suspension also comes a day after FIFA executive committee member Eugenio`Figueredo, one of the fourteen executives named in corruption acts, had his extradition approved by US officials.
In May this year, seven of the executives were arrested in a hotel in Switzerland, where they had gone for the FIFA general elections.
Those arrested then include Jack Warner, Chuck Brazier, Eduardo Li, Julio Rocha and Jeffry Webb, and they await extradition to the US.