Soccer's scandal-plagued FIFA dumps its once-powerful secretary general

Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:23am EST
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By Joshua Franklin

ZURICH (Reuters) - World soccer body FIFA said on Wednesday it had fired Secretary General Jerome Valcke, a move that comes amid alleged corruption involving World Cup ticket sales and a number of swirling scandals at the sport's governing authority

"The FIFA Emergency Committee decided, on 9 January 2016, to dismiss Jerome Valcke from the position of FIFA Secretary General with immediate effect," the Zurich-based organization said in a statement.

It gave no reason for the dismissal but Valcke's lawyer in New York, Barry Berke, was defiant on behalf of his client.

"Jerome Valcke is proud of all that was accomplished for the game of football during his long tenure as Secretary General, including two of the most successful World Cups in history in South Africa and Brazil," he said.

"He remains confident that he will be fully vindicated and history will recognize all of his contributions to the sport he loves."

Valcke was once one of the most powerful men in FIFA and responsible for ensuring that preparations for the last two World Cups, in South Africa and Brazil, were completed in time.

An ethics investigation into the case recommended a nine-year ban for the Frenchman, former right-hand man to FIFA President Sepp Blatter who himself has been banned for eight years.

Last week FIFA's ethics judges announced they had opened formal proceedings against Valcke, who has denied wrongdoing in the past.   Continued...

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke attends a news conference during his visit to Samara, one of the 2018 World Cup host cities, Russia, June 10, 2015. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev