Ticket scalping is illegal in Brazil and not allowed by FIFA, so it comes as little surprise that World Cup ticket scalpers are finding themselves in a lot of hot water today.
Four companies have been stripped of their ticket rights and 11 Brazilians have been arrested as part of a scalping scandal at the world’s biggest tournament.
FIFA’s “official hospitality provider” Match has said it will be finding related offending parties and canceling semifinal and final tickets.
It was unclear how many tickets had already been illegally re-sold. Re-selling World Cup tickets for profit is illegal in Brazil and breaks both FIFA and Match rules.
Mohamadou Lamine Fofana was arrested alongside 10 Brazilians in the operation. Rio de Janeiro police said last week that Fofana had links to someone close to FIFA, who was the source of the unsold or unused tickets and who was staying at the Copacabana Palace Hotel in Rio de Janeiro. That’s where senior FIFA and Match officials are also staying during the World Cup.
“Match Hospitality will be fully assisting the police in investigating the matter. It is important to highlight that so far no Match Hospitality staff member has been implicated with anything,” Match said in a statement.
It’s certainly not a surprise, as scalping problems exist around the Super Bowl and other major sporting events as well. Perhaps the bigger surprise is that more busts haven’t hit the scene.