Jérôme Valcke

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Jérôme Valcke
Jérôme Valcke april 2013.jpg
Valcke in 2013
Secretary General of FIFA
In office
27 June 2007 (2007-06-27) – 18 September 2015 (2015-09-18)
Preceded by Urs Linsi
Personal details
Born (1960-10-06) 6 October 1960 (age 55)
Nationality French
Spouse(s) Ornella Valcke (née Stocchi)

Jérôme Valcke (born 6 October 1960) has served as the Secretary General of FIFA from 2007–2015. In 2015, a letter to Valcke was published that requested him to transfer a US $10 million payment from South African officials to CONCACAF in 2008. It was alleged that the payment was a bribe to Jack Warner in exchange for votes for South Africa to host the 2010 World Cup.[1] In September 2015, he was suspended and relieved of his duties as FIFA secretary general until further notice.


Valcke was employed as a journalist at the French TV company Canal+. From 1991 until 1997 he held the office of deputy chief of sport. In 1997 he took over the position of chief executive officer at Sport+.

FIFA Director of Marketing[edit]

In the summer of 2003, Valcke switched to the international football federation FIFA in Zürich and took the position of Director of Marketing & TV.

A New York court found on 7 December 2006 that Valcke had lied in his role as marketing director for negotiating sponsor agreements with the rival VISA, despite the existing agreement of FIFA conducted with the long-time partner MasterCard and thus violated the right of first negotiation of MasterCard.[2] Because of this, FIFA was fined USD$60 million.[citation needed] Despite the ruling, Valcke protested his innocence, stating "I feel I am clean . . . I don't have the feeling that we have been so dirty."[2]

FIFA president Sepp Blatter released Valcke, along with three other FIFA employees, on 12 December 2006 from his job as marketing director. FIFA released a statement regarding these four employees: "Fifa's negotiations breached its business principles . . . Fifa cannot possibly accept such conduct among its own employees."[2] According to Blatter, Valcke was released and had not been fired.

After an appeal and further legal proceedings, FIFA reached a settlement with Visa and MasterCard on 21 June for US $90 million.[2]

FIFA General Secretary[edit]

Despite the scandal, Valcke was installed as FIFA's general secretary at the meeting of FIFA's Executive Committee on 27 June 2007, as proposed by FIFA President Sepp Blatter, and was thereby elected as the successor of Urs Linsi who stepped down on 11 June 2007. Markus Kattner, FIFA's chief of finance who had acted as interim general secretary between 11 and 27 June 2007, was installed as his deputy. Valcke is the first general secretary of FIFA since 1956 who wasn't born in Switzerland.

The appointment of Valcke as FIFA's general secretary surprised some experts. FIFA president Blatter said: "Strong people bring you back. When he began his work as director of marketing and TV in FIFA four and a half years ago, we were in a financial crisis. Currently we have an equity of CHF 752 million." Valcke responded to his promotion of 27 June 2007 in Zurich, with the following statement: "It's like a dream for me."[3]

On 18 September 2015, FIFA stated that Valcke had be suspended and released from his duties until further notice. The decision was made after a series of allegations implicated Valcke of selling World Cup tickets for above face value.[4]


In his role as FIFA Secretary General, Valcke has been linked to several allegations of corruption within FIFA.

2011 accusations[edit]

On 30 May 2011, FIFA Executive Committee member Jack Warner, who had been suspended that day for possible ethics violations pending an investigation, leaked an email from Valcke which suggested that Qatar had "bought" the rights to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Valcke subsequently issued a statement denying any suggestions that pay off took place, and claimed that "the country had used its financial muscle to lobby for support" instead. Qatar officials similarly denied all media-perpetuated mischief allegations.[5]

2015 accusations[edit]

On 27 May 2015, the United States Department of Justice unsealed an indictment following the arrest of several past and present FIFA officials.[6] It stated that "a high-ranking FIFA official" caused payments totalling US $10 million to be paid to bank accounts in the name of CONCACAF and Caribbean Football Union controlled by Warner.[7]

FIFA denied that Valcke was involved, and Valcke stated that he had not authorised the payment and had no power to do so.[8] However, it later transpired that South African Football Association President Dr. Molefi Olphant had written to Valcke on 4 March 2008 requesting that US $10 million be diverted from the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee's future budget towards a "Diaspora Legacy Programme Fund" operated by then CONCACAF President Jack Warner.[1] The U.S. indictment stated "Co-Conspirator #1 understood the offer to be in exchange for the agreement of WARNER, Co-Conspirator #1, and Co-Conspirator #17 to all vote for South Africa, rather than Morocco, to host the 2010 World Cup."[7]

Personal life[edit]

Besides his first language, French, Valcke speaks English, German and Spanish.[9] He is married and has two children.[9]


  1. ^ a b Gibson, Owen (2 June 2015). "Fifa’s secretary general Jérôme Valcke under new pressure over $10m ‘bribe’". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d Owen, David (28 October 2007). "Jérôme Valcke: He scored the worst-ever own goal. Now he's running football". The Independent (UK). 
  3. ^ Ledsom, Mark (27 June 2007). "Soccer-FIFA name sacked marketing director as new number two". Reuters. 
  4. ^ "Fifa secretary Jerome Valcke suspended". BBC Sport. BBC. 18 September 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2015. 
  5. ^ Doherty, Regan E. (30 May 2011). "Qataris brush off allegations of buying World Cup rights". Reuters. 
  6. ^ "Nine FIFA Officials and Five Corporate Executives Indicted for Racketeering Conspiracy and Corruption". Justice.gov.uk. 27 May 2015. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "US vs. Jeffrey Webb et al." (pdf). Justice.gov. 27 May 2015. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  8. ^ "Fifa corruption: Blatter deputy Jerome Valcke denies payments". BBC. 2 June 2015. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  9. ^ a b "General Secretary". FIFA.com. Retrieved 2 June 2015.