Former Fifa chief Sepp Blatter has been banned from football for a further six years and eight months, according to the game’s worldwide governing body.
The ban was imposed for repeated violations of Fifa’s ethics code which will take effect after a current suspension expires in October, according to Fifa. Jérôme Valcke, the organization’s former secretary-general, has been suspended for the same amount of time. According to Fifa, both men have been fined 1 million Swiss francs (nearly £780,000).
“The inquiries into Messrs Blatter and Valcke included numerous charges, including compensation payments about Fifa competitions that were paid to top Fifa management officials, various modifications and extensions to job contracts, as well as repayment by Fifa of private legal costs in the case of Mr. Valcke,” according to a Fifa release.
Blatter was found to have accepted improper economic incentives totaling 23 million Swiss francs (just under £18 million) and authorized salaries or promotions totaling CHF46 million to other officials.
The ethics committee’s adjudicatory chamber considered Blatter, 85, in violation of laws regulating obligation of allegiance, conflicts of interest, and giving or taking gifts or other benefits. Valcke, 60, was found to have violated the same sections of the ethics code as well as violation of position.
Valcke was found to have accepted improper benefits totaling CHF30 million – $9 million for the 2010 World Cup, $10 million for the 2013 Confederations Cup and 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and $11 million for the 2017 Confederations Cup and 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Blatter, whose behavior was characterized as “absolutely reprehensible” by the ethics committee, and Valcke have been barred from participating in the game since 2015. They have 21 days to file an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the penalties and ruling.
Blatter called it a “painful and incomprehensible blow” in a statement issued by his spokesman Thomas Renggli, adding, “The ethics committee in its present form has nothing to do with an independent body – it is much more the stretched arm of the Fifa president [Gianni Infantino] and not much more than a ‘parallel justice.'”