Former rank­ing FIFA ex­ec­u­tive ap­peals ban F

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

ORMER FIFA sec­re­tary gen­eral Jerome Val­cke is tes­ti­fy­ing at the Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion for Sport to chal­lenge a 10-year ban from soc­cer for un­eth­i­cal con­duct.

The CAS ap­peal hear­ing yes­ter­day was ex­pected to last eight hours. A ver­dict is likely within weeks.

Val­cke, who was a FIFA mar­ket­ing ex­ec­u­tive be­fore be­com­ing then-Pres­i­dent Sepp Blat­ter’s right-hand man in 2007, de­clined to com­ment to me­dia out­side the court.

Val­cke was fired by FIFA in Jan­uary 2016 after be­ing im­pli­cated in ir­reg­u­lar World Cup ticket and broad­cast rights sales, plus ex­pense abuses in­clud­ing per­sonal use of pri­vate flights.

The FIFA ethics com­mit­tee banned him for 12 years, with an ad­di­tional charge of de­stroy­ing ev­i­dence. FIFA’s ap­peal panel cut the ban by two years be­cause it judged the broad­cast­ing deal charge was not proven.

Val­cke, a French former TV pre­sen­ter, de­nies wrong­do­ing and is also un­der crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion by Switzer­land’s at­tor­ney gen­eral. Pro­ceed­ings were opened against Val­cke in March 2016 “on sus­pi­cion of var­i­ous acts of crim­i­nal mis­man­age­ment.”

A sep­a­rate FIFA ethics case was opened in Septem­ber 2016 to in­ves­ti­gate Val­cke, Blat­ter and former FIFA fi­nance direc­tor Markus Kat­tner over con­tracted bonuses. Some World Cup bonuses over $10 mil­lion were due to be paid, and had been signed off by other FIFA of­fi­cials.

FIFA SUS­PENDS PAK­ISTAN In a sep­a­rate devel­op­ment, FIFA yes­ter­day sus­pended Pak­istan from in­ter­na­tional soc­cer be­cause of govern­ment in­ter­fer­ence after dis­puted na­tional fed­er­a­tion elec­tions.

The Pak­istan soc­cer fed­er­a­tion’s “of­fices and its ac­counts re­main in con­trol of a court-ap­pointed ad­min­is­tra­tor,” FIFA said.

The ban cuts off fund­ing from Zurich, and bars na­tional and club teams and of­fi­cials from in­ter­na­tional games and meet­ings.

Rules im­posed by FIFA and its mem­bers pro­hibit out­side in­flu­ence on their in­de­pen­dence. The rules can have the ef­fect of pro­tect­ing un­pop­u­lar soc­cer of­fi­cials from govern­ment in­ter­ven­tion.

“It’s a sad day for Pak­istan soc­cer, but I think govern­ment is not re­al­iz­ing the grav­ity of the prob­lem,” Pak­istan soc­cer fed­er­a­tion pres­i­dent Faisal Saleh Hayat told the As­so­ci­ated Press.

“There is no short­cut to re­solve this prob­lem,” he said. “FIFA rec­og­nizes Faisal Saleh Hayat as head of PFF and if the govern­ment doesn’t stop in­ter­ven­ing I think it will be a long sus­pen­sion.”

Hayat’s re-elec­tion two years ago was chal­lenged in court and has led to the FIFA sus­pen­sion.

The sus­pen­sion should also bar Hayat from duty at the Asian Foot­ball Con­fed­er­a­tion. He is an AFC ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­ber and chairs its le­gal com­mit­tee.

Ac­cord­ing to FIFA records, Pak­istan, 200th of 211 teams in the world rank­ings, have not played a full in­ter­na­tional since a 0-0 draw with Ye­men in a World Cup qual­i­fier in March 2015.

Pak­istan has never played at a World Cup and was elim­i­nated at the first stage of Asian qual­i­fy­ing. – AP

Photo: AP

Jerome Val­cke.

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