Jerome Valcke Banned from Football-Related Activities for 12 Years

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistFebruary 12, 2016

FILE - In this Friday, July 24, 2015 file photo, FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke attends a press conference near Constantine (Konstantinovsky) Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia, on the eve of the Preliminary draw for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. FIFA says it suspended secretary general Jerome Valcke with immediate effect, Thursday Sept. 17, 2015 hours after he was the subject of allegations over a deal for 2014 World Cup ticket sales. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky, File)
Dmitry Lovetsky/Associated Press

Jerome Valcke, the former secretary general of FIFA, was banned from all football-related activities for 12 years by the FIFA Ethics Committee on Friday.

Richard Conway of BBC Sport passed along the news. Ben Rumsby of the Daily Telegraph reported the offenses noted in the ruling included "travelling at FIFA's expense purely for sightseeing reasons" and trying to "obstruct the ongoing proceedings against him by attempting to delete or deleting several files and folders."   

BBC Sport said the punishment also includes a fine of 100,000 Swiss francs.

Valcke was suspended in September as the sport's governing body ordered an investigation into alleged unethical conduct. Graham Dunbar of the Associated Press reported the allegations against him included black market sales of 2014 World Cup tickets.

Tariq Panja of Bloomberg Business provided comments from Barry Berke, Valcke's lawyer, who stated his client denied the ticket-related claims.

"Jerome Valcke unequivocally denies the fabricated and outrageous accusations," Berke said.

Rumsby added a more in-depth statement from Valcke as well:

FIFA proceeded to sack Valcke in January after the Ethics Committee's investigatory chamber suggested a nine-year ban and £67,500 fine for his actions.

The Valcke ban is the latest step in an ongoing effort by the governing body to clean up the executive level of the sport. Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter and UEFA president Michel Platini were suspended for eight years in December for conflict of interest over an alleged £1.35 million payment.

What's unclear is whether the ongoing changing of the guard atop the organization will lead to more open, transparent actions moving forward. That's necessary for FIFA to regain the trust of football fans from around the globe.