Valcke banned for 12 years

ZURICH. — Former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke became the latest high-profile soccer official to be sidelined from the sport when he was banned for 12 years yesterday after causing “considerable financial” damage to soccer’s governing body.

FIFA’s ethics committee, in announcing the decision, said the case had centered around misconduct connected to the sale of World Cup tickets, one of a number of scandals rocking soccer’s crisis-plagued governing body.

It said Valcke, also fined 100 000 Swiss francs, was also involved in “the abuse of the FIFA travel expenses policies and regulations, cases involving related-parties issues and the sale of TV and other media rights, and the destruction of evidence”.

“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 as the secretary-general of FIFA,” said the statement.

Valcke, who had held the role for nearly eight years, was put on leave by FIFA in September and fired in January.

The ethics committee has already banned outgoing FIFA president Sepp Blatter and European soccer boss Michel Platini for eight years apiece, and other officials have been suspended over the last four years.

FIFA is mired in the worst crisis in its 111-year history, with corruption investigations underway in Switzerland and the United States. Several dozen people, including senior football officials, have been indicted. — Reuters.

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