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CAS rejects Valcke appeal against Fifa ban

Former Fifa secretary general Jérôme Valcke has today (Friday) seen his appeal against a 10-year ban imposed by world football’s governing body dismissed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Valcke (pictured) filed an appeal at CAS in February 2017. He appealed against the decision issued by the Fifa Appeal Committee in June 2016, of which full written reasons were only released in February 2017, in which he was banned from taking part in any football-related activity for a period of 10 years.

Fifa in July 2016 announced that its Appeal Committee had opted to reduce the ban imposed on the French executive. In February 2016, Valcke was handed a 12-year ban from all football-related activities by Fifa’s Ethics Committee for multiple areas of misconduct. The verdict came after Valcke was in January 2016 sacked by Fifa, with the Ethics Committee having initially recommended a nine-year ban and a fine of CHF100,000 (€86,000/$100,000) after its investigatory chamber laid out its proposals concerning a World Cup ticket scandal.

Valcke was suspended by the governing body on October 8, 2016 after allegations emerged that he was involved in a plot to resell 2014 World Cup tickets for a lucrative profit. The adjudicatory chamber in February 2016 said that while the investigation into Valcke’s activities initially focused on allegations of potential misconduct relating to the sale of World Cup tickets, several other acts of potential misconduct arose – in particular, abuse of Fifa travel expense policies and regulations, cases involving “related-parties issues” and the sale of media rights, and the destruction of evidence.

Amongst the additional violations, the Ethics Committee said that Valcke attempted to grant the media rights in the Caribbean for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to a third party for a fee far below their actual market value. It added that Valcke had taken “concrete preparatory action” in this regard.

However, the Appeal Committee ruled that “mitigating factors” had not been fully assessed by the adjudicatory chamber with regard to the allegations surrounding the Caribbean media rights. Therefore, the ban imposed by the adjudicatory chamber on Valcke was reduced from 12 to 10 years. However, the fine of CHF100,000 remained in place.

Valcke was seeking to have the challenged decision set aside in order for the sanction imposed on him to be lifted definitively. However, he has failed in this effort today with the 10-year ban and CHF100,000 fine to remain in place.

CAS said in a statement: “The Panel concluded that the offences found to have been committed by Jérôme Valcke were cumulatively of a serious degree of gravity and that, therefore, the sanctions of a 10-year ban and fine of CHF100,000 were wholly proportionate. Consequently, the Panel dismissed the appeal and confirmed the Fifa AC decision.”