Jérôme Valcke, the second-ranking official at FIFA, was placed on immediate leave and will be investigated for allegations of corruption involving the black-market sale of World Cup tickets, the association announced Thursday.
FIFA, global soccer’s governing body, announced Mr. Valcke’s departure ina brief statement posted on its website. It said that Mr. Valcke had been relieved of his duties effective immediately and that FIFA had been “made aware of a series of allegations involving the secretary general and has requested a formal investigation by the FIFA Ethics Committee.”
Mr. Valcke has served as secretary general of FIFA for eight years, essentially acting as the top deputy to Sepp Blatter, the embattled president of the organization. Mr. Blatter announced in June that he would step down next year after a series of investigations into the activities of leading soccer executives resulted in arrests.
Mr. Valcke has previously denied any wrongdoing or unethical behavior. The latest claims were made by Benny Alon, a former soccer player and longtime consultant involved with the sale of tickets and tourist packages for high-end sporting events.