ZURICH: A FIFA tribunal on Friday banned former secretary general Jerome Valcke for 12 years for misconduct ranging from helping a World Cup ticket scam to fixing a television deal and destroying evidence.
The former right hand man to FIFA’s scandal tainted president Sepp Blatter was also fined 100,000 Swiss francs ($100,000).
The 55-year-old Frenchman had denied any wrongdoing after he was implicated in the sale of black market sales of tickets for the 2014 World Cup.
Originally, only a nine-year ban had been sought for Valcke.
A FIFA statement said however that “several other acts of potential misconduct” during his nearly 10-year in office arose as the ethics committee investigated the accusations.
It highlighted “in particular abuse of the FIFA travel expenses policies and regulations, cases involving related-parties issues and the sale of TV and other media rights, and the destruction of evidence”.
Valcke’s US-based lawyers insisted that their client will clear his name.
“With today’s decision, the FIFA Ethics Committee has shown that it is not a credible, independent or objective decision-making body,” said lawyer Barry Berke in a statement emailed to AFP.
Claiming the decision was “unjust and politically-motivated”, Berke added: “Mr. Valcke is confident that when all the facts come out, it will be clear that he did absolutely nothing wrong in carrying out his duties for the good of FIFA and the sport.”
FIFA said a sports marketing firm “gained an undue advantage from the selling of FIFA World Cup tickets” and that Valcke had helped.