Jerome Valcke will follow Sepp Blatter out the door upon president’s departure

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FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke has confirmed he will also leave his post when president Sepp Blatter steps down in late February.

After spending eight years as Blatter’s right-hand man, Valcke will step down when a new president is elected.

“Whoever becomes the FIFA president should have a new secretary general because it’s the most important relationship for the organization,” Valcke said from St. Petersburg, Russia with the 2018 World Cup qualifying draw on the horizon. “About my future, I would say that at least I can have some privacy in regards of whatever questions you are asking, and what I want do with my life is just a question about me and myself.”

The election of a new president will take place on February 26. The 54-year-old Frenchman says his departure is not because he’s under fire from the wide-ranging investigation sweeping across FIFA.

“As the head of the administration I can be proud of what FIFA’s administration has done and FIFA’s administration, I don’t think, has ever been part of any of the stories which are around FIFA, including all the commercial agreements we have signed from (2007-15),” Valcke said. “I have not seen anything which is related to any wrongdoings by the FIFA administration regarding any commercial aspect of FIFA during this period. So what you are asking me, if I am responsible for what has happened this last time, I don’t think that I am really involved, and I don’t think that I have anything to do in this case.”

Valcke was linked to the approval of a 2008 transfer to disgraced executive Jack Warner from the South African federation, but has passed the blame onto deceased Argentinian Julio Grondonda, the former chairman of FIFA’s finance committee.

The current Secretary General also confirmed the turmoil facing FIFA has unsurprisingly made things very difficult for the governing body to secure new sponsors.

“The current situation doesn’t help to finalise any new agreements — that is a fact,” Valcke said during his news conference in Russia. “And I’m sure until the [presidential] election on Feb. 26 there will not be any major announcements.”

He also confirmed there will be a summit with current sponsors next month. Companies such as Visa and Coca-Cola have been outspoken as far as their desire to see FIFA reformed, but so far have not taken any public tangible action.