ZURICH: FIFA has confirmed the predictable sacking of Jerome Valcke as secretary-general, an inevitable outcome to their falling-out ever since he was suspended last autumn writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The world football federation announced the decision in a statement which did not even grant the Frenchman the courtesy of acknowledging his work in ensuring that the 2010 and 2014 World Cups went ahead despite on-the-ground problems in both South Africa and Brazil respectively.
Valcke’s removal from football employment also raises the issue about whether he now falls within the purview of the ethics committee which had been considering disciplinary action over alleged breaches of the code of ethics.
FIFA says it does; Valcke and his lawyers may disagree
Last September Valcke, then now-banned president Sepp Blatter’s trusted No2, was relieved of his duties as secretary-general ‘effective immediately’ after allegations linking him to a World Cup ticket deal.
The 55-year-old was suspended subsequently by the ethics committee and his FIFA duties were taken over on an interim basis by finance director Markus Kattner.
Valcke, who has faced questions over a World Cup tickets deal and a controversial $10m payment from the 2010 South African World Cup organisers to ex-CONCACAF president Jack Warner, had been expected to leave FIFA after the election of a new president next February 26.
Last Thursday Hans-Joachim Eckert, FIFA’s ethics judge, finally opened proceedings against Valcke – his case having been left on the backburner after being overtaken by proceedings which led to the long-term bans of Blatter and Michel Platini, respective heads of FIFA and European federation UEFA.
The opening of procedings followed the wrapping-up, by investigating chairman Cornel Borbely, of inquiries into allegations concerning Valcke. Borbely is asking for a nine-year ban from all football plus a SFr100,000 fine for “misuse of expenses and other infringements of FIFA’s rules and regulations.”
Valcke, through his lawyers, had denied all wrongdoing and been offered the chance to state his case.
In a statement his lawyers said: “Jerome Valcke is proud of all that was accomplished for the game of football during his long tenure as secretary general, including two of the most successful World Cups in history in South Africa and Brazil.
“He remains confident that he will be fully vindicated and history will recognize all of his contributions to the sport he loves.”
Dismissal of Jérôme Valcke as FIFA Secretary General
— The FIFA Emergency Committee decided, on 9 January 2016, to dismiss Jérôme Valcke from the position of FIFA Secretary General with immediate effect. Jérôme Valcke is therefore no longer the Secretary General of FIFA.
The employment relationship between FIFA and Jérôme Valcke has also been terminated.
Jérôme Valcke was provisionally released from his duties as secretary-general on 17 September 2015, and on 7 January 2016, formal adjudicatory proceedings were opened against him by the adjudicatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee chaired by Hans-Joachim Eckert.
The provisional suspension imposed on Jérôme Valcke on 8 October 2015 and extended on 6 January 2016 continues to be valid.
The duties of the secretary-general will continue to be assumed by the acting secretary-general Dr Markus Kattner.