A case against ex secretary general Jerome Valcke, who has already been suspended from his duties, has been formally opened by FIFA ethics committee judges. Valcke currently faces a nine-year suspension from football and a fine estimated to 100,000 Swiss francs due to allegations that he took part in a scheme to draw profit from selling tickets for the World Cup competition.
The allegations were based on documents and e-mails that suggested he was aware of the fact that World Cup and Confederation Cup tickets had been sold off by a Swiss marketing company for about five times their face value.
The documents presented prove that contracts concerning category one tickets for several matches had been signed between Valcke and the Swiss firm JB Sports Marketing AG. According to the company’s claims, there had been also a profit-sharing agreement with the former secretary general. It was found that the scheme has never been enacted, but the allegations have led to sanctions.
Valcke, who got suspended from work by the international organisation in September 2015, has denied he has done anything wrong, but the ethics committee of FIFA announced today that it had decided to open “formal adjudicatory proceedings” against ex secretary general who has been considered the man closest to Sepp Blatter since 2007.
He has been considered as one of the most powerful men in the International Federation of Association Football. Valcke has been also responsible for making the preparations for the last two World Cups – the one that took place in South Africa and the one in Brazil – were finalised in time.
According to its own statement, FIFA ethics committee has made the decision of opening the case after it examined a prosecution report that had been submitted by its investigatory arm.
The statement of the committee said that no further details would be published by the adjudicatory chamber for now due to privacy rights issues and the fact that Valcke is considered innocent until proven guilty.
The decision was made by the ethics committee only a day after the 90-day interim suspension of Valcke was extended by 45 days. In addition, a nine-year ban for the ex secretary general has been recommended by the committee. There is likely for an official hearing to be scheduled within several weeks in Zurich.
The final outcome of the case is still to be revealed, especially considering the fact that Valcke has fiercely denied any wrongdoing. The independent Ethics Committee of FIFA said in a statement that he had been officially invited to submit his evidence to the organisation’s body.