Fifa president Sepp Blatter has brought back Jerome Valcke, the marketing executive who was held responsible for the costly legal battle with Mastercard.

After being returned to power at last month’s Fifa congress in Zurich, Blatter had already moved to strengthen his position within football’s governing body by sacking general secretary Urs Linsi earlier this week.

The decision to re-appoint Valcke comes as a surprise following a US court ruling last December which placed Valcke at the heart of the fiasco which culminated in Mastercard suing Fifa. The legal move came when Fifa failed to honour an exclusive renegotiation period with Mastercard and switched allegiance to Visa for the 2010 and 2014 World Cup finals.

But a ruling by the US Court of Appeal on March 25 overturned the original verdict, clearing Valcke of the suggestion that he had lied about the deal and enabling Blatter to give him his old job back.