Suspended Fifa Scribe Valcke Wanted Unreasonable Pay-Off

Jerome Valcke is said to have unsuccessfully sought to receive a pay-off of a preposterous amount from Fifa, a week prior to his suspension.

The Fifa secretary general was, on Thursday, put on leave and released from his duty until further notice after series of allegations implicated him in a scheme to sell World Cup tickets above face value.

It is understood the Frenchman, 54, who has denied any wrongdoing, wanted to be paid out to the tune of several million pounds for the remainder three years of his contract at world football’s governing body.

The former sports journalist for French television channel Canal+ joined Fifa as director of marketing and TV in 2003 and was later hired by President Sepp Blatter as the first non-Swiss Fifa scribe in 2007.

Jerome Valcke (right) and Qatar 2022 LOC Chief Hassan Al-Thawadi Addressing a Press Conference in Doha, Qatar. Image: AFP.
Jerome Valcke (right) and Qatar 2022 LOC Chief Hassan Al-Thawadi Addressing a Press Conference in Doha, Qatar. Image: AFP.

His predecessor, Urs Linsi, was reportedly given a pay-off worth £3.6m.

Valcke, who just last month was mulling standing to be the next Fifa chief, has not been spared of scandals throughout the years, including accusations that he lied in a sponsorship row between Mastercard and Visa in 2006 and most recently claims of a £6m payment to help South Africa’s secure hosting rights for the 2010 World Cup.

World football governing body has been churning from the ruins of claims of widespread corruption since May, when seven of its high-ranking officials were nabbed at a five-star hotel in Zurich by Swiss policemen.

Those seven and two other ex-Fifa officials are also part of an investigation by the United States Justice Department on bribery and racketeering charges.

A separate Swiss investigation is looking into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments, which has been slated for Russia and Qatar.

Fifa has also set up a taskforce to address corruption within the organisation with the aim to proffering a way forward.

Blatter, who announced his imminent departure from world football just days after winning re-election in June, has in the meantime told colleagues he will not leave Switzerland during investigations. He had attended the 2018 World Cup qualifying draw in St Petersburg in July but opted out of a celebration in Moscow this Friday, marking 1,000 days until the start of the World Cup in Russia.

The decision not to be in Moscow is believed to be unrelated to any fear of arrest as Russia has no bilateral extradition treaty with the US.

Earlier on Thursday, one of the seven officials arrested in May, Eugenio Figueredo, had his extradition to the US approved.