FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke won’t face internal charges for sending an e-mail that claimed Qatar “bought” the right to host the 2022 World Cup, soccer’s governing body said.
Valcke’s e-mail was revealed last month by former FIFA Vice President Jack Warner, who quit from all his soccer roles yesterday amid a bribery investigation into him and Mohamed Bin Hammam, the head of Asian soccer from Qatar who was a candidate for the FIFA presidency. They both deny wrongdoing.
“There are no pending issues to discuss in this regard and the FIFA president and FIFA secretary general look forward to working together in full confidence and trust in the next four-year cycle, as they have done for the past four years,” FIFA said in an e-mailed statement.
Valcke said after Warner revealed the private e-mail that he meant Qatar, the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied, natural gas, used its funds to “heavily promote their bid all around the world in a very efficient manner.”
The e-mail, supplied to the media by Warner and typed by Valcke, referred to Bin Hammam and FIFA President Sepp Blatter by their initials, MBH and JSB.
“For MBH, I never understood why he was running,” Valcke wrote. “If really he thought he had a chance or just being an extreme way to express how much he does not like anymore JSB. Or he thought you can buy FIFA as they bought the” World Cup.
Qatar, a desert state smaller than Connecticut, was the surprise winner of the hosting rights to the event, beating bids from the U.S., Australia, Japan and Korea. American officials estimate the event to be worth $5 billion.
Valcke, FIFA’s highest non-elected official, has said he won’t comment further to anyone other than Qatari officials. Qatar has denied claims it paid for votes from some of FIFA’s executive committee.
Blatter won a fourth term as president as the sole candidate on June 1 following Bin Hammam’s withdrawal amid the bribery claim. Days before the election Blatter refused to answer whether it was appropriate for Valcke to have made those comments.
According to FIFA’s statutes only its president can appoint or remove the general secretary from office.