FIFA suspended its top official Jerome Valcke and ordered an investigation into alleged unethical conduct on Thursday, throwing world soccer's scandal-scarred governing body into further turmoil.
Valcke, FIFA's secretary general for the past eight years under President Sepp Blatter, was hours earlier the subject of allegations over a deal for 2014 World Cup ticket sales on the black market.
"FIFA today announced that its Secretary General Jerome Valcke has been put on leave and released from his duties effective immediately until further notice," it said in a brief statement which did not specify details.
"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."
A call to Valcke's mobile phone was not answered late Thursday.
Earlier Thursday, a former FIFA ticketing partner made allegations about being supplied by Valcke to sell top-tier World Cup tickets to matches in Brazil at three times face value.
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The marketing executive, Benny Alon, also made an unproven allegation that Valcke had been prepared to profit personally from the deal.
Valcke was expected to deny the allegations.
It was unclear if Alon had already sent details of his allegations to FIFA's ethics panel, which accepts tip-offs about possible wrongdoing from members of the public.
A statement from the ethics committee quickly followed FIFA's announcement, noting that "as a matter of principle, it will analyze all information that is brought to its attention of its own accord."