FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke suspended after ticket accusations

Jerome Valcke:
Image: Jerome Valcke has been suspended from his FIFA duties

FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke has been put on leave and released from his duties until further notice.

Valcke was earlier accused of being implicated in a scheme to sell World Cup tickets above face value for a share in profits, although the 54-year-old Frenchman has denied any wrongdoing.

A statement from football's governing body read: "FIFA today announced that its Secretary General Jerome 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."

Earlier on Thursday, former Israel player Benny Alon said at a press conference in Zurich that he agreed in 2013 to pay cash to Valcke to secure plum World Cup tickets in Brazil. He said the plan was to then sell the tickets to fans at a mark-up and split the proceeds with Valcke.

Valcke "unequivocally" denied the allegations as "fabricated and outrageous" in a statement from his US lawyer Barry Berke.

"Mr Valcke never received or agreed to accept any money or anything else of value from Mr Alon," the statement said. "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." 

Also See:

Alon's allegations come on top of probes by the US Department of Justice and the Swiss Attorney General's Office into corruption at FIFA following the indictment of 14 senior officials and sports marketing executives in May.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who has pulled out of a trip to Moscow to mark 1,000 days to the start of the 2018 World Cup, told his staff on Friday morning: "FIFA is confident of its ability to recover from the present difficult situation and restore its reputation for good of game."

Markus Kattner, FIFA's deputy general secretary will temporarily take over Valcke's duties, according to a spokesman for the governing body.

Around Sky