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FIFA needs calm work, not more accusations — Russia’s sports minister

September 18, 2015, 10:40 UTC+3 MOSCOW

FIFA announced on Thursday that Jerome Valcke was relieved of his duties until further notice

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© KEYSTONE/Steffen Schmidt

MOSCOW, September 18. /TASS/. The world football's governing body FIFA needs to work in a calm atmosphere and the decision to suspend Secretary General Jerome Valcke was announced to this end, Russia’s Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Friday.

"In my opinion, this was a joint decision [of FIFA and Valcke]. Now there is no need to give occasion for more accusations against FIFA. Valcke was temporarily suspended and now the situation will be examined by the ethics committee," said Mutko, who is a member of the FIFA executive committee.

"FIFA needs to work calmly, the organization has many projects that need to be fulfilled," he said.

FIFA announced on Thursday that Valcke was relieved of his duties until further notice. "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 statement reads.

The 54-year-old Frenchman, who assumed the post in June 2007, is accused of being involved in schemes to sell tickets for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil above their face value, media reports said. Valcke denies the allegations made by Benny Alon, the owner of a Swiss firm, JB Sports Marketing AG. Alon claimed that Valcke pocketed some 2 million euros from the resale of more than 8,000 tickets.

FIFA Deputy Secretary General Markus Kattner will temporarily take over Valcke’s duties.

Mutko said Valcke’s suspension will not affect preparations for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

"FIFA is going through such a time period. The investigations of law enforcers of Switzerland and the United States are ongoing, new facts will be revealed. But of course, they must be confirmed by the court. Now these are only accusations," Mutko said.

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