Valcke's reign at FIFA likely to be at an end

Fri Sep 18, 2015 4:29am EDT
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By Simon Evans

MIAMI (Reuters) - For the second time in his career, Jerome Valcke leaves FIFA with a cloud hanging over him.

Sepp Blatter's lieutenant for the past eight years, Valcke became the highest profile figure in the corruption-plagued organization to fall during the current series of scandals when he was "released from his duties" on Thursday and it appears unlikely he will return.

The Frenchman has not been formally dismissed but Blatter is standing down in February and Valcke had already suggested he would probably go at that time as well.

The 54-year-old, however, is now being investigated by FIFA's ethics committee after allegations he was involved in a plan to re-sell 2014 World Cup tickets for a lucrative profit.

Valcke's lawyer "unequivocally" denied the allegations, labeling them as "fabricated and outrageous".

The allegations are the latest against Valcke as the organization, and his own behavior, came under scrutiny in recent years.

Valcke, a former television executive with French television company Canal Plus, became FIFA's marketing director in 2003 but was fired three years later after a mishandled negotiation to switch a sponsorship deal from Mastercard to Visa.

The deal ended up in a New York court which ruled that Valcke's marketing team had "lied repeatedly" during the talks and an out of court settlement with Mastercard cost FIFA $90 million in compensation.   Continued...

Jerome Valcke in  Russia, June 10, 2015.  REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev