FIFA is reeling from a fresh scandal as Secretary General Jerome Valcke was dramatically suspended over allegations of involvement in a ticketing scam and placed under investigation.
Valcke, the right-hand man of outgoing FIFA President Sepp Blatter, was immediately relieved of his duties as the latest wave of sleaze crashed into world football’s governing body.
Switzerland, meanwhile, ruled on Thursday that Eugenio Figueredo, a former FIFA vice-president, should be extradited to the US in a corruption probe, the first suspect facing a forced transfer over the fraud allegations that have shaken the world football.
Valcke “has been put on leave and released from his duties effective immediately until further notice,” said a FIFA statement on Thursday.
“Further, FIFA has been made aware of a series of allegations involving the secretary general and has requested a formal investigation by the FIFA Ethics Committee.”
The 54-year-old French official had already been forced to deny involvement in a $10m payment to South Africa in the wake of corruption allegations that forced Blatter’s resignation earlier this year.
The latest claims against Valcke related to accusations of involvement in a scam to sell World Cup tickets at vastly inflated prices and take a slice of the profits.
The claims were made by Benny Alon, an American-Israeli consultant at a company which had a deal with FIFA to sell tickets at the 2014 World Cup. The contract was subsequently cancelled.