Valcke banned for 12 years
Jerome Valcke, Sepp Blatter's long-time right-hand man, was banned from all soccer-related activity for 12 years yesterday for misconduct during his term as FIFA secretary general.
Valcke was found guilty by FIFA's ethics committee of wide-ranging offences, including taking private jets for personal use, destroying evidence and trying to force through an undervalued sale of 2018 and 2022 World Cup television rights for the Caribbean.
"Mr Valcke acted against FIFA's best interests and caused considerable financial damage to FIFA, while his private and personal interests detracted him from his ability to properly perform his duties," the ethics committee said in a statement.
Valcke's ban is four years longer than the eight-year sanctions handed down to FIFA President Blatter and UEFA President Michel Platini in December for a financial conflict of interest.
The ethics judges said Valcke violated seven sections of FIFA's code of ethics, compared to four each by Blatter and Platini, and also fined him US$102,500.
The ban is likely not the end of Valcke's legal troubles. He is expected to be asked to give evidence to American and Swiss federal prosecutors investigating widespread corruption in international football.
His ban comes one month after the 55-year-old Frenchman was fired by FIFA for a second time in a colourful career. The former television presenter and marketing executive had been suspended last September. The firing was based on an internal report about his conduct, including use of expenses and private jets.