GENEVA (AP):Jerome Valcke, Sepp Blatter’s long-time right-hand man, was banned from all football-related activity for 12 years yesterday for misconduct during his term as FIFA secretary general.Valcke was found guilty by FIFA’s ethics committee of wide-ranging offenses, including taking private jets for personal use, destroying evidence and trying to force through an undervalued sale of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup television rights for the Caribbean.”Mr Valcke acted against FIFA’s best interests and caused considerable financial damage to FIFA, while his private and personal interests detracted him from his ability to properly perform his duties,” the ethics committee said in a statement.Valcke’s ban is four years longer than the eight-year sanctions handed down to FIFA President Blatter and UEFA President Michel Platini in December for a financial conflict of interest.The ethics judges said Valcke violated seven sections of FIFA’s code of ethics, compared to four each by Blatter and Platini, and also fined him 100,000 Swiss francs (US$12.4 million).The ban is likely not the end of Valcke’s legal troubles. He is expected to be asked to give evidence to American and Swiss federal prosecutors investigating widespread corruption in international football.His football ban comes one month after the 55-year-old Frenchman was fired by FIFA for a second time in a colourful career. The former television presenter and marketing executive had been suspended last September. The firing was based on an internal report about his conduct, including use of expenses and private jets.FIFA commissioned that report last year before a 2014 World Cup ticket agent alleged that Valcke sought to profit from a black market deal which later fell through. That allegation, made by ticket agent Benny Alon, prompted Valcke’s suspension and the ethics case to be opened.Valcke has consistently denied wrongdoing, and can appeal to FIFA and later to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.”With today’s decision, the FIFA ethics committee has shown that it is not a credible, independent or objective decision-making body,” Valcke’s US-based lawyer Barry Berke said in a statement, criticising an “unjust and politically motivated decision”.”Mr Valcke is confident that when all the facts come out, it will be clear that he did absolutely nothing wrong in carrying out his duties for the good of FIFA and the sport,” Berke said.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champThese are the faithful, the fans who are with the Bruins through thin and thinner.An educated guess is they should have taken a moment to bid farewell to Karl Dorrell.Dorrell has had ample time in five seasons as UCLA’s coach to demonstrate his strengths and weaknesses. His record makes it clear the balance is not in favor of strengths.This said, it must be clear that only three opinions count, those of Dan Guerrero, Pete Blackman and Dr. Gene Block.Guerrero is UCLA’s athletic director. Blackman is UCLA’s administrative vice chancellor, emeritus and special assistant to the chancellor for intercollegiate athletics. Guerrero reports to him. Block is UCLA’s new chancellor. The clock was ticking toward the end of UCLA’s home season in the Rose Bowl. Season ticket holders were bidding farewell to one another.“See you next year,” one fan said to his neighbor in the stands.“Yeah,” came the reply. Block has not been on campus long enough to have a track record. The suspicion is the athletic department is not a high priority and that he will defer to Blackman and Guerrero.Blackman does not take prisoners. He is not a patient man. While Guerrero is patient, he has not been shy about making tough decisions as athletic director at Cal State Dominguez Hills, UC Irvine and now UCLA.Dorrell’s run is coming to an end for a number of reasons.His body of work is below standards set by Guerrero when he was hired.His teams are consistently inconsistent. In a season made extremely difficult by injuries, it is not possible to ignore losses to weak Utah and Notre Dame teams.His recruiting, generally ranked good, has produced 13 wins against 11 losses over the past two seasons.His constant harping on the time needed for players to understand his complex offense indicates lack of understanding how to tailor his playbook to his players.His trail of fired coordinators is a matter of concern.How about the fact that a UCLA win over USC coupled with an Arizona win over Arizona State catapults the Bruins into the Rose Bowl game?Don’t hold your breath.USC figures to win Saturday at the Coliseum.The Trojans have the searing memory of their unexpected 13-9 loss to the Bruins a year ago, when safety-turned-linebacker Eric McNeal, the pride of Serra High, leaped, tipped and intercepted a John David Booty pass to snuff out a late Trojans rally.They have demonstrated, after winning national championships in 2003 and 2004, the degree of difficulty of remaining on top in college football by finding ways to knock themselves out of the box three years in a row.So this is a team with a chip on its shoulder in the face of accusations it is a dynasty gone soft.What about Dorrell’s accomplishments?When hired at UCLA, he was charged with cleaning up a program Albert Carnesale, then the chancellor, and his senior staff considered blemished. They lost confidence in 1999, when 19 football players were nabbed using disabled parking placards. It was downhill from there for Bob Toledo as Bruins coach.Dorrell has avoided scandal. Unfortunately, with the exception of his 10-2 record in 2005, he also has avoided winning at beyond a mediocre pace.In his chosen profession, good guy gets him a pat on the head and a buyout.What if he somehow wins against USC and goes to the Rose Bowl?In such a case, it would be hard to argue if he is retained.But an argument is in order.Start with his firing is inevitable. So it might as well be now.The more time you have to watch Dorrell, the more he looks like Bill Barnes, a nice guy who did not get it done for UCLA.Barnes was interested in hiring Jim Powers, the creative Santa Monica College coach, to run his offense. What Barnes was not interested in was turning Powers loose. Powers shrugged and remained at SMC.Dorrell, forced because of injuries to Ben Olson and Pat Cowan to go with Osaar Rasshan at quarterback, did not tweak the offense to take advantage of Rasshan’s athletic ability. Inflexible should be his middle name.He worries about little things, such as which days which players should talk to reporters, and misses the big picture.Like Pete Carroll, the USC coach who was fired in New York and New England in the NFL, he needs to move on to get another chance to get it right.Granted, this has been a haunted college football season around the country. But if Guerrero is as tough as J.D. Morgan, the legendary UCLA athletic director when Guerrero was an undergraduate, he’ll turn Dorrell into a Bruins ghost.Mwsptcol@aol.com160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!