Soccer — World CupWednesday, July 16, 2014
AFA officials regret having sold tickets
AFA admitted yesterday selling World Cup tickets but denied scalping. A video in Brazil shows AFA officials coming in and charging for a ticket.
The vice-chairman of the Argentine Football Association (AFA), Luis Segura, admitted yesterday having sold World Cup tickets but denied scalping. His comments came amid a scandal over the dismantling in Brazil of a scalping network blamed for fraud worth tens of millions of dollars.
Brazil is currently questioning 11 suspects in connection with the case, including a British ticketing executive who is a director of FIFA partner Match Services.
Referring to passing on FIFA tickets allocated to the AFA, Segura told Del Plata radio station : “I made a serious mistake and I regret it.”
He explained he had passed on a number of tickets which FIFA allocates to national federations.
But he added: “What I did from my modest position was sell (at face value) to people who were travelling to Brazil without tickets and we tried to solve this problem for people’ concerned,” said Segura. The tickets’ buyers confirmed paying the price set by FIFA for the locations.
FIFA stipulates that ticket holders may not sell on tickets or transfer them to another person without written consent from world football’s governing body.
Asked for further information on the sale of tickets, including for Sunday’s final which Argentina lost to Germany, Segura said the recipients of the tickets concerned where “people known” to the AFA. “I can’t come out and announce I had tickets so we tried to sell those which were left over to known people,” he said.
He added that “some 400 people were asking for tickets — some nicely and others with insults.”
But “if you have the chance to resolve 100 people’s problems then you do so.”
AFA ticketing administration head Emiliano Vázquez also denied wrongdoing and told Todo Noticias channel an investigation in Brazil did not find any illegal behaviour by AFA officials.
“Nobody has made a complaint. A video in Brazil shows AFA people coming in and charging for a ticket and this is logical because the FIFA tickets have a cost,” said Vázquez.
He added that 175 tickets were left over from AFA’s FIFA allocation for the final and the Association sold them on “to recoup the money.”
But he insisted that none was sold for above face value. Some 100,000 Argentines came to Rio for the final — most without tickets.
Demián Eliel Tujsnaider, who is part of the Buenos Aires city government and also takes part of River Plate executive board, was seen in the video but he said the Brazilian police after being detained in Rio de Janeiro that he paid US$ 990 for each ticket for the final. The price set by FIFA.
On July 4, Humberto Grondona, son of FIFA vice-president and AFA president Julio Grondona, denied any AFA involvement in the scalping network now under investigation in Brazil.
Speaking in Brazil, Humberto Grondona JR, technical director of Argentina’s under-17 side, said he had given “some” tickets to a friend who wanted to attend the tournament.
Herald staff with agencies