— Published 18 January 2023

Dismissal deemed unfair

A bad point for FIFA. AFP reports that the Supreme Court in Zurich, Switzerland, has ruled that the football body unjustifiably sacked its former acting general secretary, German Markus Kattner (pictured above). He was unexpectedly sacked in 2016 for failing to meet his financial responsibilities. The Swiss court ruling was issued last October, but only published this week. Markus Kattner was FIFA’s chief financial officer and then deputy general secretary before being promoted in September 2015 to acting general secretary in place of Frenchman Jerome Valcke, who was removed for being involved in a black market ticket resale case. But less than a year later, on 23 May 2016, FIFA announced the dismissal of the German. The reason for this was that he had failed in his financial responsibilities in connection with his duties. He was accused of having received substantial bonuses, provided for in his contract but kept secret. To justify his summary dismissal, FIFA explained that Markus Kattner had illegally obtained an audio recording of a meeting. According to the Zurich Supreme Court, this was not a valid reason for summary dismissal. The case has now been referred to the labour court for a ruling on Markus Kattner’s claim for damages.