LAUSANNE: Jerome Valcke, one-time No2 at world football federation FIFA, has defended himself and the validity of his work for the game after taking an appeal against his sacking and suspension to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne.

The Frenchman was secretary-general from the summer of 2007 until his suspension following ticketing allegations in the autumn of 2005. He was sacked in early 2006 after revelations about the payments system for senior directors.

Valcke, reviewing his appeal hearing, said: “I tried to show that I never acted against the interests of FIFA, that I always did my job in the best possible manner.

“I ask the question to myself many, many times, why such hate? Why such a desire from FIFA to destroy not only what has been done in the past but what has been done by myself?”

FIFA’ ethics committee banned Valcke for 12 years with an additional charge of destroying evidence. FIFA’s appeal panel cut the ban by two years because it judged a charge concerning broadcasting rights to have been not proven.

Valcke, who has denied all wrongdoing, remains under criminal investigation by Swiss authorities “on suspicion of various acts of criminal mismanagement.”

Valcke, now 57 lives in Barcelona where he has launched a consultancy dealing with any sport, except football.

He said: “I am living in peace with my family and that is the one thing which remains strong in my world, and that is what I will protect.”

He said he would not return to football even if the CAS judging panel overturns his ban, adding: “A chapter has ended in a brutal manner but, in life, you must turn the page.”