FIFA secretary general Valcke expects to leave with Blatter

AP , Friday 24 Jul 2015

Jerome Valcke
FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke (Photo: Reuters)

Jerome Valcke expects to leave his job as FIFA secretary general after Sepp Blatter's successor is elected.

Valcke, however, said Friday it is not because he is responsible for any wrongdoing in the crisis that has shaken the governing body.

The Frenchman has served for eight years as the top administrator at FIFA, which is now at the center of criminal investigations by American and Swiss authorities.

The weight of the corruption probes and sponsors' concerns led to Blatter prematurely announcing his departure from FIFA, which he has led since 1998. Nine months after being re-elected to serve a fifth, four-year term, Blatter will see his successor elected on Feb. 26.

"Whoever becomes the new FIFA president should have a new secretary general because it's the most important relationship," Valcke said in St. Petersburg ahead of the 2018 World Cup qualifying draw. "About my future, I would say at least I can have some privacy in regards of whatever questions you are asking."

The questions in recent weeks have centered on Valcke's direct links to payments totaling $10 million from FIFA accounts which the U.S. Department of Justice said were bribes to FIFA executive committee members to vote for South Africa as the 2010 World Cup host.

Valcke began his job several months before the money transfers in early 2008 to accounts controlled by disgraced former FIFA vice president Jack Warner.

FIFA and Valcke said the cash was believed to be for soccer projects for the African diaspora in the Caribbean, and was approved by Julio Grondona of Argentina, the chairman of FIFA's finance committee who died last year.

Valcke has denied wrongdoing and did not discuss the specifics of the case on Friday but stressed that he only carries out the orders of the FIFA congress and the executive committee.

"As the head of the administration I can be proud of what FIFA's administration has done and FIFA's administration, I don't think, has been part of the stories around FIFA, including all the commercial agreements we have signed (2007-15)," Valcke said. "I have not seen anything which is related to any wrongdoing by the FIFA administration regarding any commercial aspect of FIFA during this period.

"So what you are asking me, if I am responsible for what has happened this time, I don't think I am really involved. I don't think I have anything to do in this case."

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