Blatter’s No 2 is the next to bite the dust
Another Fifa bigwig bites the dust.
The career of the man who was until recently the world football governing body’s secretary-general, Jérôme Valcke, this week ended in disgrace after the association’s ethics committee banned him for 12 years.
The removal of the 55-year-old from Fifa follows less than two months after his former president, Sepp Blatter, and Uefa counterpart Michel Platini were banished from football for eight years each.
This is the second time the one-time powerwielding Valcke crashed to earth, after he was removed as the marketing director at Fifa in 2007.
On Friday, the Fifa ethics committee sent the flamboyant Frenchman packing for breaching seven counts of the Fifa ethics code.
Among other failings, Valcke was found to have repeatedly chosen private flights over commercial ones “without any business rationale for doing so” and he attempted to grant the TV and media rights for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to a third party “for a fee far below their actual value”.
In 2007, Valcke was accused of dishonesty by a US judge during contract negotiations with financial services giant MasterCard, when he was in charge of Fifa’s marketing.
Sepp Blatter (Fifa president) and Michel Platini
Both have been suspended for eight years from all football-related activities following an ethics investigation that concluded they demonstrated the “abusive execution” of their positions.
Chuck Blazer (executive committee member)
Turned whistle-blower for the FBI and has been banned from football for life after pleading guilty to charges of bribery, money laundering and tax evasion.
Jeffrey Webb (Fifa vice-president)
Pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy, three counts of wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies. He agreed to forfeit more than $6.7 million.
Juan Ángel Napout (Fifa executive committee member)
Released on $20 million bail after he pleaded not guilty to charges of racketeering, conspiracy and wire fraud.
In handing down its judgment on Friday, the committee – chaired by German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert – also found that Valcke had attempted to “delete or [deleted] several files and folders relevant to the investigation, despite being aware of his duty to preserve all data and to collaborate in order to establish the facts of the case”. Valcke has consistently denied any wrongdoing. His lawyer Barry Berke said in a statement that “the Fifa ethics committee has shown that it is not a credible, independent or objective decision-making body”.
Valcke, who considered standing for the Fifa presidency to succeed Blatter later this month, was among the senior executives implicated in the ongoing “Fifagate” scandal.
He was accused of being party to an alleged $10 million bribe paid to ex-Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football head Jack Warner, in return for his vote and backing for South Africa’s ultimately successful bid to host the 2010 World Cup. The US and Swiss criminal investigations are continuing. Since Valcke’s ousting, Fifa finance director Markus Kattner has been the organisation’s acting secretary-general.
Valcke, whose ban came into force immediately, has the right to appeal to Fifa and later to the court of arbitration for sport.
– City Press Sport
BIRDS OF A FEATHER Banned Fifa bigwigs Sepp Blatter (left) and Jérôme Valcke