A high-ranking FIFA official has been placed on leave following accusations that he sought to personally profit in a scheme to sell World Cup tickets above face value.
FIFA announced Thursday that Secretary General Jérôme Valcke had been released from his duties until further notice. The organization also said it was asking for a formal investigation by the FIFA Ethics Committee.
Valcke — a right-hand man to FIFA President Sepp Blatter — is accused of being involved in a scheme to sell tickets above face value and share in the profits, the Guardian reported. Valcke has denied the allegations, which were made by a consultant whose contract was terminated, possibly before any tickets were sold, according to the Guardian.
According to a statement from Valcke's lawyer, he "unequivocally denies the fabricated and outrageous accusations," and added that all business between FIFA and the consultant were vetted and approved by the organization's legal team.
Allegations of corruption have so far left FIFA's top leader, Blatter, relatively untouched. Though the investigation appears to be ongoing, Blatter has not been indicted on any charges and has said he will not resign before his term expires in 2016. However, with the suspension of Valcke, accusation of corruption have inched ever closer.