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Russian sports minister says FIFA lacks evidence of Jerome Valcke’s alleged guilt

September 25, 2015, 21:34 UTC+3 MOSCOW
FIFA was notified of Valcke allegedly being involved in illegal schemes of ticket sales during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and taking a bribe to support South African bid to host the 2010 World Cup
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Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko and Jerome Valcke

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko and Jerome Valcke

© ITAR-TASS/Nikolay Alexandrov

MOSCOW, September 25. /TASS/. Limited access reports, delivered at the FIFA Executive Committee’s session in Zurich on September 24-25, held no facts proving the alleged guilt of dismissed former Secretary General Jerome Valcke, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko told TASS on Friday.

"We did discuss an issue concerning Valcke," Mutko, who is also a member of the FIFA Executive Committee and the president of the Russian Football Union (RFU), said in an interview with TASS. "It is complicated to say something definite currently as some facts are missing."

FIFA announced on late night of September 18 that Valcke, who held the post of the organization’s secretary general since 2007, was "put on leave and released from his duties effective immediately until further notice." Valcke’s deputy Markus Kattner was appointed the acting secretary general of FIFA for an indefinite period of time.

FIFA announced in its statement that it was notified of 54-year-old Valcke allegedly being involved in illegal schemes of ticket sales for matches of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and also taking a bribe to support South African bid to host the 2010 World Cup.

An unprecedented corruption scandal flared up in FIFA in the morning of May 27, one day before the 65th FIFA Congress in Zurich, as seven of the organization’s high-ranking officials were arrested in Switzerland on bribery, money laundering and corruption charges. The scandal involves two separate criminal proceedings.

Firstly, the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York is conducting a criminal investigation into the awarding of media, marketing and sponsorship rights for soccer tournaments in the United States and Latin America. Secondly, the Swiss Office of the Attorney General is conducting a criminal investigation into the selection of Russia as the host country for the 2018 World Cup and Qatar as the host country for 2022.

Current FIFA President Sepp Blatter, 79, was reelected for his fifth consecutive four-year presidential term on May 29, when his only rival Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan pulled out after the first round of vote.

However, addressing a news conference in Zurich on June 2, Blatter said he decided to lay down his mandate at FIFA extraordinary elective Congress. FIFA announced in July that the election of the new president would be held next year on February 26.

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