Fifa pledges collaboration in Valcke probe

ZURICH • Fifa insisted yesterday they were "committed" to working with the authorities in any investigation into corruption, following the suspension of its general secretary Jerome Valcke.

Swiss prosecutor Michael Lauber has requested to have access to all Valcke's emails while working at football's governing body.

"We are committed to collaborate with the authorities," Fifa said without giving details because the case "is an ongoing process".

Valcke was put on indefinite leave last week over accusations he agreed to let World Cup tickets be sold at vastly-inflated prices.

The Frenchman strongly denied the allegations, which were made by Benny Alon, an American-Israeli consultant at a company which had a deal with Fifa to sell tickets at the 2014 World Cup Finals.

The contract was subsequently cancelled.

His eviction has only served to heighten the suspicion which is swirling around president Sepp Blatter's final months in office, with the election of his successor set for Feb 26 next year.

From corruption investigations in the United States and Switzerland, to the sudden suspension of his right-hand man, Blatter can expect a barrage of questions when he faces the media today.

Blatter's press conference, his first appearance since Valcke's removal, will follow a two-day Fifa executive committee meeting which began yesterday in Zurich.

Since the executive committee last met, much of the news surrounding Fifa has been less than positive. On Wednesday, the Swiss justice ministry approved the extradition to the US of Rafael Esquivel, a Venezuelan former Fifa official who was among those arrested in a dawn raid in Zurich in May.

Switzerland has also approved the transfer to US jurisdiction of former Fifa vice-president Eugenio Figueredo, a Uruguayan, with extradition decisions on four other suspects due in the coming days.

Last week, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch said her sweeping investigation into decades of graft at Fifa was expanding and was likely to lead to more people being charged. AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 25, 2015, with the headline 'Fifa pledges collaboration in Valcke probe'. Subscribe