FIFA sec­re­tary gen­eral Val­cke set to leave in Fe­bru­ary

The Herald - Herald Sport - - FOOTBALL - MAR­TYN ZIEGLER

JEROME VAL­CKE has dis­closed he will step down as FIFA sec­re­tary gen­eral in Fe­bru­ary when Sepp Blat­ter hands over the pres­i­dency.

Val­cke, who also said he has no re­spon­si­bil­ity for the cor­rup­tion cri­sis, ac­cepted that Blat­ter’s suc­ces­sor will want to ap­point their own per­son.

He told a news con­fer­ence in St Peters­burg: “Who­ever be­comes the new FIFA pres­i­dent should have a new sec­re­tary gen­eral – it is the most im­por­tant re­la­tion­ship for any or­gan­i­sa­tion.

“As the head of the ad­min­is­tra­tion I can be proud of what FIFA’s ad­min­is­tra­tion has done and the ad­min­is­tra­tion has never been part of any of the sto­ries about FIFA.

“Am I re­spon­si­ble for what has hap­pened? I am not re­ally in­volved and have any­thing to do with this case. The task of the sec­re­tary gen­eral is to im­ple­ment the de­ci­sions com­ing from the congress and FIFA ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee.”

Val­cke also said Rus­sia’s prepa­ra­tions were ‘way on track’, un­like in Brazil where he sparked a fu­ri­ous re­ac­tion in 2012 by say­ing or­gan­is­ers needed a ‘kick up the ass’.

“I’m not sure say­ing that in Rus­sia will have the same im­pact, the same re­ac­tion,” he said.

“Rus­sia is re­ally way on track and I have no con­cern. The next sec­re­tary gen­eral should be happy as we have a well-or­gan­ised World Cup.”

Mean­while, FIFA has ad­mit­ted the cor­rup­tion scan­dal is de­ter­ring new World Cup spon­sors from sign­ing up and has or­gan­ised a sum­mit with ex­ist­ing part­ners to take place in Au­gust.

No re­place­ment has been signed up for Emi­rates while none of the 20 re­gional spon­sor­ship slots have been agreed.

Val­cke told a news con­fer­ence in St Peters­burg: “The cur­rent sit­u­a­tion doesn’t help to fi­nalise any new agree­ments – that is a fact. And I’m sure un­til the elec­tion on Fe­bru­ary 26 there will not be any ma­jor an­nounce­ments.”

The head of FIFA spon­sor Visa has also de­liv­ered a sting­ing at­tack on Blat­ter, who is in­sis­tent he will re­main in post un­til the elec­tion of his suc­ces­sor and this week an­nounced a task force to bring in re­forms.

But Visa chief ex­ec­u­tive Char­lie Scharf said FIFA’s re­sponse to the cor­rup­tion cri­sis had been ‘wholly in­ad­e­quate’ and joined fel­low spon­sors Coca-Cola in de­mand­ing a ful­lyin­de­pen­dent re­form com­mis­sion.

ON HIS WAY: Val­cke has cho­sen to leave FIFA be­fore he is re­placed

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