FIFA banned former Secretary General Jerome Valcke, from all soccer-related activities for 12 years on Friday, its ethics committee said on Friday.
Zurich-based FIFA in January fired Valcke, once one of the global soccer body’s most potent figures, amid alleged corruption involving World Cup ticket sales.
The ethics chamber said Valcke was found guilty of wide-ranging misconduct, although he denied his wrongdoing in the past. FIFA’s ethics judges announced last month they had opened formal proceedings against Valcke.
“During the course of the investigations, several other acts of potential misconduct arose, in particular 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,” the committee said in a statement.
“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,” the statement added.
Valcke’s ban is four years longer than the eight-year sanctions handed down to FIFA President Sepp Blatter and UEFA President Michel Platini in December for a financial conflict of interest.
Valcke’s suspension and the ethics case were provoked by an allegation made by ticket agent Benny Alon that Valcke had sought to profit from a black market deal.
“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,” the statement said.
“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.’
The ethics panel added: “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.”