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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

FIFA ethics committee extends Jerome Valcke's suspension by 45 days

FIFA's ethics committee has extended FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke's suspension by 45 days, with the move coming a day after investigators recommended an extension.

The move comes after the investigatory chamber of world football's governing body recommended that the Frenchman should be banned from football for nine years over alleged corruption.

In a statement, the ethics body said: "The adjudicatory chamber of the ethics committee, chaired by Mr Hans-Joachim Eckert, has decided to extend the suspension of Mr Jerome Valcke by 45 days at the request of the investigatory chamber.

"The extension of the suspension starts from today."

The ethics investigation focused on several alleged offences including being connected to black market sales of World Cup tickets.

The investigatory chamber has also recommended a 100,000 Swiss franc fine for charges including conflicts of interest and offering and accepting gifts and other benefits.

Valcke was suspended in September after allegations that he planned to benefit from black market World Cup ticket sales. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Emails and documents were released which suggested he was aware that a Swiss marketing company was selling off World Cup and Confederation Cup tickets for almost five times their face value.

The emails and documents show Valcke signed off contracts with Swiss firm JB Sports Marketing AG for category one tickets for a number of matches.

The company also claims it entered into a profit-sharing agreement with Valcke -- although no money changed hands -- and he strongly denies asking for or receiving any money from JB Sports.

The allegations are also being investigated by the Swiss attorney general -- FIFA handed over Valcke's emails to prosecutors shortly after his suspension.

Dr Cornel Borbely, the chairman of the ethics committee investigatory chamber, has handed over his report on Valcke, and his recommendations, to the adjudicatory chamber.

A statement from FIFA's ethics committee said: "Until a formal decision is taken by the adjudicatory chamber of the ethics committee, Mr Valcke is presumed innocent."

Valcke's New York-based lawyers Kramer Levin said in a statement that the Frenchman had done "absolutely nothing wrong".

The statement said: "The investigatory chamber of the FIFA ethics committee has chosen to ignore Jerome Valcke's exemplary conduct and extraordinary contributions during his long tenure as secretary general.

"Mr Valcke did absolutely nothing wrong, as any independent and fair review of the facts would establish."

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