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FIFA ethics investigator recommends 9-year ban for Valcke

One of the football governing body's ethics investigator has also called for the Frenchman to pay a 100,000 Swiss franc fine. A statement from the committee said Valcke "is presumed innocent" until a decision is taken.

Cornel Borbely, an investigator of FIFA's independent ethics committee, recommended a 9-year ban from all footballing activities for FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke in his final report on the football official's illicit activities.

The chief investigator also had a requested for a 45-day extension of Valcke's 90-day suspension - which went into effect in October - granted the day after the recommendation over Valcke's nine-year ban. "The adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee chaired by Mr Hans-Joachim Eckert has decided to extend the suspension of Mr Jerome Valcke by 45 days," it said in a statement.

This added time allows the committee to weigh the evidence against FIFA President Sepp Blatter's right-hand man. Valcke's suspension was due to expire at midnight on Tuesday.

According to the report, Valcke is suspected of "alleged violation of the general rules of conduct, confidentiality, duty of disclosure, cooperation and reporting, conflicts of interest, offering and accepting gifts and others benefits, and general obligation to collaborate."

The report suggested the 55-year-old Frenchman should pay a fine of 100,000 Swiss francs (92,000 euros, $99,000).

Valcke has been accused of involvement in a black market ticketing scam of World Cup tickets, as well as being party to a potential $10-million bribe to Jack Warner, the former head of the North and Central American football governing body CONCACAF.

"Until a formal decision is taken by the adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee, Mr. Valcke is presumed innocent," the statement from the ethics committee added.

FIFA, football's global governing body long accused of systemic corruption, became the focus of a US investigation in 2015. This helped break the dam, also furthering separate a probe in Switzerland, and the year culminated in 8-year bans for both FIFA President Sepp Blatter (still technically in the position) and UEFA President Michel Platini (still hoping to succeed Blatter atop FIFA).

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Blatter and Platini: Their way to the top | DW

ls/msh (AFP, Reuters AP)

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