FIFA’s former secretary general Jerome Valcke was at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne on Wednesday to appeal his 10-year ban from football.
Valcke was given an initial 12-year ban, reduced by two years on appeal, by FIFA’s ethics committee over a ticket scam at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
“I don’t know whether a sentence is unfair but I have come here to defend myself and obtain a fairer decision,” the former chief lieutenant to disgraced ex-FIFA boss Sepp Blatter told the press before his hearing.
“The objective today is to ask for the ban to be lifted,” added one of his lawyers, Stephane Ceccaldi.
“Mr Valcke is not allowed to have any contact with football for the next ten years, a sanction that is in itself particularly questionable.
“We are hoping that his career is not over,” Ceccaldi said.
The 56-year-old Frenchman, employed by FIFA from 2003 to January 2016, was sacked by football’s ruling body over his involvement in black market ticket sales and misconduct in television deals.
Valcke’s fall from grace came as part of a massive corruption scandal that shook FIFA’s foundations, with Blatter banned for six years on charges relating to a two million Swiss francs (1.8 million euros) payment to then-UEFA chief Michel Platini.
Platini was also suspended from football for four years.
Vacke, now based near Barcelona where he runs an events management company, is also the subject of a Swiss prosecutors investigation over “various acts of criminal mismanagement” connected with ticket sales.