The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee chaired by Mr Hans Joachim Eckert has banned Mr Jérôme Valcke, former Secretary General of FIFA, for 12 years from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) on a national and international level. The ban comes into force immediately.
The investigation against Mr Valcke was conducted by Dr Cornel Borbély, chairman of the investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee, following allegations of potential misconduct related to the sale of tickets for FIFA World Cups™. 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 investigation resulted in a final report that was submitted to the adjudicatory chamber on 5 January 2016. Adjudicatory proceedings were formally opened on 7 January 2016.
Amongst other things, the adjudicatory chamber found that a sports marketing firm had gained an undue advantage from the selling of FIFA World Cup™ tickets. In this respect, not only did Mr Valcke do nothing to stop these activities, he even encouraged the persons responsible to do so. Furthermore, Mr Valcke repeatedly encouraged them to breach an agreement concluded between FIFA and the sports marketing firm.
Moreover, 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. In doing so, 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 as the Secretary General of FIFA.
Concerning the issue of TV and media rights for the Caribbean, 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.
Furthermore, it was found that 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, despite being aware of his duty to preserve all data and to collaborate in order to establish the facts of the case.
In summary, the conduct of Mr Valcke as Secretary General of FIFA constituted a violation of article 13 (General rules of conduct), article 15 (Loyalty), article 16 (Confidentiality), article 18 (Duty of disclosure, cooperation and reporting), article 19 (Conflicts of interest), article 20 (Offering and accepting gifts and other benefits) and article 41 (Obligation of the parties to collaborate) of the FIFA Code of Ethics (FCE).
In consequence, Mr Valcke has been banned for 12 years from all football related activities and fined CHF 100,000.