(WFI) FIFA released emails of its suspended secretary general Jerome Valcke as requested by Switzerland’s Attorney General Michael Lauber on Thursday
Lauber was reported by Reuters on Thursday to have asked FIFA to grant access to Valcke email accounts as part of its ongoing probe into corruption allegations engulfing world football’s governing body.
Reiterating comments made yesterday, spokeswoman Delia Fischer told INSIDER earlier Thursday that FIFA was “committed to collaborating with the authorities… it is an ongoing process”.
Valcke was suspended last week amid allegations of his involvement in a 2014 World Cup ticketing scam. Sepp Blatter’s right-hand man was “put on leave and released from his duties” pending an investigation by the FIFA Ethics Committee.
The allegations, which the 54-year-old strongly denies, implicated the Frenchman in a scheme to sell tickets at three times face value and take a cut of the profits.
The Swiss probe into FIFA corruption is separate from a probe by US authorities, which in May indicted 14 soccer officials and sports marketing executives on corruption charges in uncovering a $150 million bribery scandal spanning more than two decades.
The FIFA Executive Committee convenes in Zurich Thursday and Friday.
In the wake of Valcke’s suspension, acting general secretary Markus Kuttner will take on some of his duties including offering a progress report on the Qatar 2022 World Cup
An update on the US and Swiss investigations is confined to Any Other Business under ‘Sports political matters’ on the agenda.
So too are discussions on FIFA’s new reforms process that is deemed crucial to restoring credibility in the scandal-tainted football body.
Francois Carrard, head of FIFA’s Reforms Commission, will present his first report to the FIFA ExCo on the work of the 12-person panel which met for the first time earlier in September.
Possible changes proposed include term limits on senior officials, restructuring the 27-member executive committee, reducing the executive board’s influence on decision-making and publishing payments made to FIFA officials to increase transparency. The next reform committee meeting is scheduled for October 16-18.
The final item on the agenda concerns the decision and date of the next FIFA ExCo. It was slated to take place in Japan, host of the Club World Cup, in December.
But with Blatter a likely target in the US Department of Justice’s investigation into FIFA, it’s clear his US lawyers are advising him not to travel to any countries with a US extradition treaty, like Japan.
The 79-year-old has only travelled to Russia for the World Cup qualifying draw in July since the group of 14 FIFA and marketing officials were indicted in May.
Switzerland on Wednesday approved the extradition to the USA of former president of the Venezuelan FA Rafael Esquivel, one of the seven football officials arrested in Zurich in May. He is charged with taking millions of dollars in bribes linked to the sale of Copa America marketing rights.
By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson
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