FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke has been put on leave and released from his duties until further notice following reports of corruption.
A newspaper report on Thursday alleged that Valcke was involved in a scheme to sell World Cup tickets above face value. The allegations of Valcke’s involvement stem from claims made by a consultant at a company that had an agreement to sell tickets for the 2014 World Cup, but that was later cancelled. It is alleged that Valcke would have been one of the beneficiaries of selling the tickets at inflated prices.
The 54-year-old, who has held the position since 2007, denied the allegations in a statement made through his lawyers, calling them “fabricated” and “outrageous” .
FIFA released a statement indicating that Valcke had been told to step aside while the matter was investigated.
“FIFA today announced that its secretary general Jérôme Valcke has been put on leave and released from his duties effective immediately until further notice,” the statement read.
“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.”
Valcke was already under pressure after being linked with an alleged $10 million bribe that is said to have been made by South African officials to disgraced former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner in return for his vote and backing during their successful bid to host the 2010 World Cup.
Football’s governing body has been in turmoil since a series of arrests in May, with investigations into deep-rooted and long-running corruption being conducted by agencies in the United States and Switzerland.