Former Fifa secretary-general Jérôme Valcke has become the latest senior football official to be kicked out of the game, when he was handed a 12-year ban following allegations of potential misconduct related to the sale of tickets for World Cups.
Fifa said it had uncovered additional acts of potential misconduct by Valcke, including abuse of travel expenses, the sale of media rights and the destruction of evidence.
In the judgment from the adjudicatory chamber of the ethics committee, Fifa added: “Among other things, the adjudicatory chamber found that a sports marketing firm had gained an undue advantage from the selling of World Cup tickets. In this respect, not only did Mr Valcke do nothing to stop these activities, he even encouraged the persons responsible to do so. Furthermore, Mr Valcke repeatedly encouraged them to breach an agreement concluded between Fifa and the sports marketing firm.
“Moreover, by travelling at Fifa’s expense purely for sightseeing reasons as well as repeatedly choosing private flights for his trips over commercial flights without any business rationale for doing so, Mr Valcke gained an advantage for himself and relatives. In doing so, 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.
“Concerning the issue of TV and media rights for the Caribbean, it was found that Mr Valcke attempted to grant the TV and media rights for the 2018 and 2022 Fifa World Cups to a third party for a fee far below their actual market value and had taken concrete preparatory action in this regard.
“Furthermore, it was found that Mr Valcke deliberately tried to obstruct the ongoing proceedings against him by attempting to delete or deleting several files and folders relevant to the investigation, despite being aware of his duty to preserve all data and to collaborate in order to establish the facts of the case.”
Valcke was also fined 100,000 Swiss francs (£71,000).
Last December Blatter and Michel Platini, the Uefa president who was his heir apparent, were banned from football for eight years by Fifa’s ethics committee following an investigation into a £1.35m “disloyal payment”.
Both men protested their innocence and have launched appeals against their bans.
Valcke, the former secretary general, a key ally of Blatter, was placed on indefinite leave in September after he was implicated in a scheme to sell World Cup tickets above face value and share in the profits. The plan was never enacted and Valcke denied the allegations.