Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Clearly Valcke did not get that stitch in time

FIFA Recommends Nine-Year Ban for Valcke

The investigator for FIFA’s independent ethics committee on Tuesday recommended a nine-year ban for the organization’s former secretary general, Jérôme Valcke, who served as Sepp Blatter’s top deputy for nearly a decade before he was placed on leave in September amid a corruption inquiry.

The investigator, Cornel Borbély, also recommended that Mr. Valcke’s provisional suspension, which was to expire Tuesday, be extended by 45 days, as well as a fine of 100,000 Swiss francs (about $99,000). The judge of the ethics committee, Hans-Joachim Eckert, will issue a final ruling on the recommended punishment.

Mr. Valcke, 55, has been on disciplinary leave from FIFA since September, when he was accused of being involved in a scheme to sell 2014 World Cup tickets for personal profit. ...

See the whole story here, courtesy of the NYT.

Kicking Back Comments: While I expect Valcke to both deny any wrongdoing and appeal the ban, FIFA continues to step up to clean up its act. Or at least remove the bad actors that inhabited these offices previously.

One area I do not understand is, here is a person who is suspected and has been suspended for pilfering at least $10M, yet his fine is only about $100K, an order of magnitude less. Why not make Valcke pay back the full amount?

Also, while FIFA is starting, just starting, to grow a spine on some of these issues, I am far more interested in both the Qatar debacle and also what permanent reforms will be put in place to prevent something like this from occurring again.

That will be the true acid test for me.


  1. I must start by saying I fully agree with you that the award to Qatar is highly suspect to say the least.
    Having said that, I ask myself: what options does FIFA has at this time?
    Taking the award back exposes them to legal issues that would not likely be resolved in short order. Especially since Qatar has already spent BILLIONS of dollars, not to speak of the human toll that effort is taking. This is one of the many obstacles that will be faced if the award is rescinded. Yes FIFA has a large sum of money stashed away as a "rainy day fund". That "fund" will become the target of any possible legal action.
    I come back to the the original question I posed: What options does FIFA have?
    Suppose they settle the legal action in short order (not likely); who do you award the 2022 WC to? Yes there are countries that can take on a such a monumental task within 6 years, namely the US, England, Germany, but that number is about a handful. Those WILLING to take the task on is more likely no more than TWO. Also, how can a change of award be done in such a way as to save face for FIFA. The value (to FIFA) of the new award will be far less than the value of the original.
    If the award is given to the US or England, the immediate outcry is going to be: they caved under the pressure and FIFA is making the award because of the legal action etc...
    I have learned that before I ask for action, I must take into consideration what the end game is, and propose an all inclusive action plan to get there.
    So, with all due respect PK, what do you suggest FIFA do at this point in time?

    I will admit this much: I am glad I am not the one deciding.


    1. As always an excellent question from you.

      My answer may be overly simple frankly. Do the right thing.

      If it can be shown that Qatar indeed bought the 2022 WC, then they should lose the privilege to host. Will there be all sorts of legal action - for sure. But if FIFA had a brain in their head they would have a "morality clause" or similar in there saying that if something illegal or immoral occurred, all bets are off and the host loses the right. Even if not, who is going to affirm a person who cheated? It would be like a court to enforce an illegal debt. They can't.

      Again, I am over simplifying, but that would be the brass tacks for me.

      What then ... rebid it ... out in the open ... and see what we get. As you astutely stated there will be only a small group that would take this on and they would be shunned by the world ... but frankly, so what. We are shunned by the world anyway in the US, so what real difference would it make.

      I think between now and 2022 a "Class A" country (as FIFA puts it) could prepare in time to host. US, England, Germany, Australia .... it could be done.

      It is not the easy thing to do, but I think it is the right one ... even for FIFA in the long run who would eventually GAIN credibility for doing so.

      Thanks for reading,