Fifa has banned its former secretary general Jerome Valcke from all football-related activity for 12 years.
The decision was made by the governing body’s independent ethics committee following allegations of misconduct related to sales of World Cup tickets.
Valcke was found guilty by FIFA’s ethics committee of wide-ranging offenses, including taking private jets for personal use, destroying evidence and trying to force through an undervalued sale of 2018 and 2022 World Cup television rights for the Caribbean.
The ethics judges said Valcke violated seven sections of FIFA’s code of ethics, compared to four each by Blatter and Platini, and also fined him 100,000 Swiss francs ($102,500).
“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,” the ethics committee said in a statement.
“During the course of the investigations, several other acts of potential misconduct arose,” the ethics judges said.
“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,” the statement said.
“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.’
The ethics panel added: “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.”
Valcke’s ban is four years longer than the eight-year sanctions handed down to FIFA President Blatter and UEFA President Michel Platini in December for a financial conflict of interest.
The ban is likely not the end of Valcke’s legal troubles. He is expected to be asked to give evidence to American and Swiss federal prosecutors investigating widespread corruption in international soccer.
His ban comes one month after the 55-year-old Frenchman was fired by FIFA.
Valcke has consistently denied any wrongdoing.