FIFA is reeling from a fresh scandal as Secretary-General Jerome Valcke was dramatically suspended over allegations of involvement in a ticketing scam and placed under investigation.

Valcke, the right-hand man of outgoing FIFA President Sepp Blatter, was immediately relieved of his duties as the latest wave of sleaze crashed into world football's governing body.

Switzerland, meanwhile, ruled on Thursday that Eugenio Figueredo, a former FIFA vice president, should be extradited to the US in a corruption probe, the first suspect facing a forced transfer over the fraud allegations that have shaken the world of football.

Valcke "has been put on leave and released from his duties effective immediately until further notice," said a FIFA statement on Thursday.

"Further, FIFA has been made aware of a series of allegations involving the secretary-general and has requested a formal investigation by the FIFA Ethics Committee."

The 54-year-old French official had already been forced to deny involvement in a $10m payment to South Africa in the wake of corruption allegations that forced Blatter's resignation earlier this year.

The latest claims against Valcke related to accusations of involvement in a scam to sell World Cup tickets at vastly inflated prices and take a slice of the profits.

The claims were made by Benny Alon, an American-Israeli consultant at a company which had a deal with FIFA to sell tickets at the 2014 World Cup. The contract was subsequently cancelled.

Denial

In a strongly worded statement issued by Valcke's US-based lawyer, the official decried the allegations as false.

"Jerome Valcke unequivocally denies the fabricated and outrageous accusations by Benny Alon of alleged wrongdoing in connection with the sale of World Cup tickets," the statement from New York attorney Barry Berke said.

The statement said Valcke "never received or agreed to accept any money or anything else of value from Mr Alon".

All dealings between Valcke and Alon's company had been cleared by FIFA's legal department, the statement added.

FIFA have been embroiled in a major corruption scandal since the arrest of seven of its officials attending a FIFA congress in May in Zurich to elect a new president.

They are among 14 people charged by US authorities over more than $150m in bribes given for television and marketing deals.

Despite the arrests, the election went ahead with Blatter winning a fifth mandate although the 79-year-old then announced he would be standing down with a new election scheduled for February.

Source: AFP