There’s big news in the world of soccer: FIFA, the sport’s governing body, says its secretary general, Jérôme Valcke, has been “released from his duties” amid allegations published in The Guardian that he was part of a scheme to sell tickets for the World Cup above their face value.
Here’s the FIFA statement, in full:
FIFA today announced that its Secretary General Jérôme Valcke has been put on leave and released from his duties effective immediately until further notice. 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 Guardian reported Thursday that Valcke, the right-hand man of Sepp Blatter, FIFA’s chief, “was to be the beneficiary of an agreement to sell the tickets at inflated prices.”
Valcke has denied the allegations, which were made by a former FIFA ticketing partner. The Associated Press noted that the former partner alleged that plans were made to sell top-tier World Cup tickets at three times their face value. But The Guardian noted that the documents it had seen detailing the allegations “are incomplete, selective and could easily be open to other interpretations.”