Chung Mong-Joon
Chung Mong-joon

A FIFA appeals committee has cut the suspension of former secretary general Jerome Valcke from 12 years to 10 and reduced Asian football powerbroker Chung Mong-joon’s ban from six years to five, a statement said Tuesday.

Valcke, who served as ex-FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s right hand man for nearly a decade, was sacked in January and banned from football over misconduct in television deals and World Cup ticket sales.

Chung, a former FIFA vice president, was found to have contravened rules while lobbying for South Korea’s bid to host the 2022 World Cup, which was awarded to Qatar in 2010.

The appeals committee confirmed that Valcke was guilty of serious offences, but said “that mitigating factors had not been fully assessed by FIFA judges.

Following an audience with Valcke in Zurich last month, the appeals panel reduced his ban, but maintained his 100,000-Swiss-franc ($100,000, 90,000-euro) fine.

Swiss prosecutors have also opened a criminal investigation targeting Frenchman Valcke over “various acts of criminal mismanagement”.

Chung, billionaire scion of the Hyundai family, had been a candidate to replace Blatter but ultimately withdrew from the race which saw ex-UEFA secretary general Gianni Infantino elected.

Chung blasted FIFA judges for “sabotage” after his suspension came into force in October of last year.

The appeals committee said the evidence against Chung was “not sufficient” to support the six-year-ban and reduced his fine from 100,000 to 50,000 Swiss francs.

Some of the most powerful names in football have been brought down over more than a year of FIFA scandals that have sparked calls to remake world football’s governing body.

Infantino was elected in February trumpeting his reformer credentials, but has already come under fire for an allegedly autocratic style and claims of improper expenses. – Agence France-Presse

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