FIFA has handed over emails of suspended secretary general Jerome Valcke to Swiss prosecutors who are investigating his involvement in a black market ticket scheme.
The world governing body had initially told the Swiss attorney general it would only give access to the email accounts if “several conditions be fulfilled”.
However, it has now backed down and handed over all of Valcke’s emails since May and promised access to older messages.
A statement from the Swiss attorney general’s office read: “Today 24 September 2015 late afternoon, FIFA informed the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) to unseal all email accounts belonging to Mr Jerome Valcke, suspended secretary-general. Therewith, the OAG will have access to Mr Valcke’s email accounts as requested.
“Furthermore, the OAG is pleased to note that FIFA has handed over on its own initiative Mr Jerome Valcke’s emails since May 2015.”
Valcke was suspended following a decision by FIFA’s emergency committee last week after emails surfaced suggesting he was implicated in a World Cup tickets scheme. He has denied any wrongdoing.
A statement from FIFA read: “FIFA has in all instances forthwith responded to any and all requests received from the Office of the Swiss Attorney General and fully supports the investigation. FIFA has also voluntarily filed additional information and documents with the Office of the Swiss Attorney General in order to facilitate the investigation.”
Sources close to Valcke say he believes his decision not to run for the FIFA presidency led to his suspension from his job – and in order to boost Sepp Blatter’s faltering image.
The sources say the Frenchman believes Blatter decided to dispense with him after he decided not to run against Michel Platini for the FIFA presidency in February – and that the bigger the scalp, the better it looked for Blatter himself. Valcke also told Blatter last week that he wanted to end his contract early and had been trying to negotiate a multi-million pound pay-off.
Valcke had contacted associations and confederation leaders about the possibility of running against Platini – and he would have been likely to have had Blatter’s patronage if he had chosen to run – but he decided not to do so. One big obstacle was the revelation in June of letters from South African officials to Valcke instructing FIFA to transfer 10milion US dollars to disgraced former vice-president Jack Warner.
In July, Valcke insisted he and the rest of the FIFA administration had done nothing wrong.
He said then: “I have not seen anything which is related to any wrongdoing by the FIFA administration regarding any commercial aspect of FIFA during this period.”
Valcke’s deputy Markus Kattner has assumed his responsibilities and is attending the FIFA executive committee meeting in Zurich on Thursday and Friday this week.
Valcke was suspended after emails and documents were released which suggested he was aware that a Swiss marketing company was selling off World Cup and Confederation Cup tickets for almost five times their face value.
The emails and documents show Valcke signed off contracts with Swiss firm JB Sports Marketing AG for category one tickets for a number of matches. The company also claims it entered into a profit-sharing agreement with Valcke – though no money changed hands – and he strenuously denies asking for or receiving any money from JB Sports.
FIFA’s executive committee will be given an update on the separate Swiss and US investigation into corruption allegations.
The members will also asked to approve rule changes which would allow FIFA’s ethics committee to release more information on officials who are under investigation or who have been sanctioned.