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Swiss supreme court dismisses Valcke’s FIFA ban appeal

May 31, 2019
FILE - In this file photo dated Feb. 18, 2014, former FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke speaks during a news conference for the 2014 World Cup in Florianopolis, Brazil. Switzerland’s supreme court says it rejected an appeal by former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke against a 10-year ban from soccer duty for financial wrongdoing, it was reported on Friday, May 31, 2019. Federal judges dismissed arguments including that punishment for the 58-year-old Valcke was excessive, and that he was denied a fair trial at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. (AP Photo/Andre Penner, File)

GENEVA (AP) — The Swiss supreme court has rejected an appeal by former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke against a 10-year ban from soccer for financial wrongdoing.

The decision was published Friday , showing the 58-year-old Valcke had argued that his punishment was excessive, and that he was denied a fair trial at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Valcke was ordered to pay 18,000 Swiss francs ($17,900) in federal court costs and 20,000 Swiss francs ($19,900) to FIFA.

FIFA said in a statement it “welcomes the Swiss Federal Tribunal judgment” on its former marketing director and top administrator.

Valcke remains the subject of two ongoing criminal proceedings opened by Swiss federal prosecutors. A separate FIFA ethics investigation was opened in September 2016 into salaries and bonuses paid to top officials.

The right-hand man to former FIFA president Sepp Blatter from 2007 until September 2015 had challenged a CAS ruling to uphold his FIFA ban and a fine of 100,000 Swiss francs ($99,500).

The FIFA ethics committee charged him in relation to irregular World Cup ticket sales, expense abuses including personal use of private jets, and trying to destroy evidence.

Valcke, who denies all wrongdoing, told CAS he followed advice from Blatter by taking a private flight to the 2018 World Cup qualifying draw in Russia to avoid the risk of arrest.

The evidence emerged in fallout from sweeping investigations by American and Swiss federal prosecutors, which were revealed in May 2015. Those cases removed a generation of soccer leaders from FIFA, and from continental soccer bodies in Europe and the Americas.

The Swiss proceedings are ongoing, and include an allegation that Valcke was bribed by Qatari television executive Nasser al-Khelaifi with the use of a luxury villa in Italy in a World Cup broadcast rights deal.

Al-Khelaifi, the president of French champion Paris Saint-Germain, was also implicated in the case in 2017 and denies wrongdoing. He has since been appointed to the UEFA executive committee.

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