PtG Article 18.09.2015

FIFA secretary general Valcke put on indefinite leave

Sepp Blatter’s right hand, FIFA secretary general Jérôme Valcke, has been put on leave and released from his duties due to allegations of World Cup ticket scheme.

According to a statement issued by FIFA on Thursday evening, FIFA secretary general Jérôme Valcke has been ‘put on leave and released from his duties effective immediately until further notice’.

"Further, FIFA has been made aware of a series of allegations involving the Secretary General and has requested a formal investigation by the FIFA Ethics Committee," the statement continues.

The statement comes after it was reported that Valcke had allegedly been involved in a World Cup 2014 ticket scam involving the reselling of tickets above face value and a profit-sharing plan.

The allegations of Valcke’s involvement stem from Benny Alon, a consultant from JB Sports Marketing, a ticketing company that held a contract with FIFA on the reselling of World Cup tickets. According to The Guardian, which cites Alon, the scam never materialised, ‘because FIFA realised it should not have agreed to sell him the tickets as the deal did not comply with Brazilian law’.

Valcke himself has not reacted publicly to the claims yet, but his US lawyer, Barry Berke, quickly sent out a statement denying the claims, calling them “fabricated and outrageous”.

“Mr Valcke never received or agreed to accept any money or anything else of value from Mr Alon. As has been reported, Fifa entered into an agreement with Mr Alon’s company, JB Sports Marketing. That agreement and Fifa’s subsequent business dealings with Mr Alon were vetted and approved by Fifa and its legal counsel," the statement further said.

Although Valcke has not officially been named as being under investigation by neither the US nor the Swiss investigations inti FIFA corruption, his name has taken headlines since the May arrests. In particular, when documents linking Valcke to a $10m payment made in 2008 to then CONCACAF president Jack Warner were released, a payment allegedly made in exchange for a vote in favour of the South African World Cup 2010.

Earlier this week, Warner was named in relation to a tv rights deal he made for the 2010 and 2014 World Cups. The contract, signed by FIFA president Sepp Blatter, is said to have made Warner a profit of at least £11m.  

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