Fifa corruption scandal: Sepp Blatter's No 2 faces allegation over Brazil 2014 World Cup

Jérôme Valcke is accused of agreeing to help sell black market tickets

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The Independent Football

Fifa Secretary General Jérôme Valcke has been accused of agreeing to help sell Brazil 2014 World Cup tickets on the black market to generate millions of dollars in personal profit, in a fresh scandal to engulf football’s governing organisation.

The allegation was made by Benny Alon, an Israeli former footballer who has worked as a ticketing and hospitality agent at every World Cup since 1990.

Emails said to be between him and Mr Valcke appear to show that Mr Valcke knew that Mr Alon intended to sell 8,750 tickets for 24 ‘creme de la creme’ matches at last year’s World Cup at several times their face value – a breach of Fifa’s rules on ticket sales.

The allegations have been denied by Mr Valcke.

Mr Alon has spent today briefing journalists on his claims, and said that in a meeting with Mr Valcke in 2013, the pair agreed that Mr Alon’s JB Sports Marketing (JBSM) would be provided with the tickets to matches featuring hosts Brazil and eventual champions Germany.

 

“I told him we’d like tickets to three Germany matches, and all the matches Brazil might play,” Mr Alon told the Daily Mail.

“It was clear we could make a good amount of money from selling these tickets if we got these games – the creme de la creme – and we agreed to split the profit.”

Mr Valcke, a former television sports journalist, is the second most important man in Fifa after Sepp Blatter, and has been Secretary General since 2007. So far none of the various allegations against Fifa executives have suggested anyone sought to benefit from corrupt deals.

Mr Alon said that, in the end, the deal didn’t happen. Mr Alon claimed Mr Valcke asked him if it could be cancelled, ‘as a favour’, as Fifa already had an official ticketing partnership with a different company, Match.

In an email to Mr Alon on 12 December 2013, Mr Valcke allegedly wrote: “Benny, if you ask lawyers about [it] nothing will happen. You, we, have no choice. Otherwise [your] deal will be cancelled by Fifa or we all face as individuals criminal offence. It is not a joke. It is very serious. So avoid too many advice. Just do it, if I may say using a slogan from one company involved. All is clear and has to be finalized now. Thanks. Jérôme.”

 

There appears to be an eight-month gap between the point at which Mr Valcke had been made aware that the tickets would be sold at inflated prices and the deal being withdrawn.

Mr Alon alleges one email exchange between the two men was over an agreed meeting to exchange large amounts of cash, in a suitcase he showed to reporters. This email exchange showed Mr Valcke saying he was too busy to meet. Mr Alon said he therefore returned the cash to the bank the next day.

Mr Valcke was personally plunged into Fifa’s mire of scandal when his name was seen at the bottom of an email licensing a $10m (£6.5m) payment from Fifa to the Caribbean Football Union, ostensibly for an “African Diaspora Legacy Programme” connected to the South Africa World Cup, but which is alleged to have been diverted to Jack Warner, the then president of the Concacaf federation.

Fifa said that Mr Valcke was not involved in the initiation approval or the implementation of the payment.

Mr Valcke has indicated he will step down from Fifa at a special congress in February, when Mr Blatter is also expected to leave the body.

Fifa has not commented on the allegations made by Mr Alon.

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