Jerome Valcke facing a nine-year suspension

Jerome Valcke is accused of violating nine counts of governing body’s ethics code

Jerome Valcke, the former right-hand man to the banned Fifa president Sepp Blatter, is facing a possible nine-year suspension from soccer after Fifa's investigators said he had violated nine counts of its ethics code.

The head of the investigatory arm of Fifa's ethics committee, Cornel Borbely, recommended the nine-year ban and a 100,000 Swiss francs (€91,000) fine as it passed the case to the adjudicatory arm, headed by the German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, for a final decision.

Disloyal

Last month Blatter and Michel Platini, the Uefa president who was his heir apparent, were banned from football for eight years by Fifa's ethics committee following an investigation into a €1.84 million "disloyal payment". Both men protested their innocence and said they would appeal.

Valcke, the former secretary general, a key Fifa figure since he returned for his second spell at the organisation in 2007, was placed on indefinite leave in September after he was implicated in a scheme to sell World Cup tickets above face value and share in the profits.

The plan was never enacted and Valcke denied the allegations.

The French man was later provisionally suspended for 90 days while Fifa’s ethics committee looked into the case, along with claims he facilitated a $10 million (€9.3m) payment from the South African FA to an account controlled by the disgraced former Fifa vice-president Jack Warner.

Valcke’s New York-based lawyers Kramer Levin said in a statement that the Frenchman had done “absolutely nothing wrong”.

Police itself

The statement said: “Today’s press release is nothing more than a self-serving public relations effort to wrongly attack Mr Valcke in a desperate attempt to try to prove that Fifa can police itself. ”

It is also understood the Fifa ethics committee has been examining allegations relating to Valcke’s expenses and, among other things, his use of a private jet.

In a statement, the Fifa ethics committee said: “The chairman of the investigatory chamber recommended imposing a sanction of a nine-year ban and a fine of 100,000 Swiss francs on Mr Valcke for alleged violation of the general rules of conduct, loyalty, confidentiality, duty of disclosure, cooperation and reporting, conflicts of interest, offering and accepting gifts and other benefits, and general obligation to collaborate.” Guardian Service