On Thursday news of soccer’s world governing body being embroiled in a ticket scandal broke, as FIFA was plunged into yet more controversy after its members were accused of orchestrating the scheme.
Less than 24 hours later the son of FIFA senior vice president Julio Grondona has denied reports that he illegally sold a World Cup ticket for profit.
What is going on?
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The Brazilian police have already made 11 arrests as their three-month long operation into the scheme reported on Thursday found that each match made over $1 million by selling tickets illegally.
In this separate incident Humberto Grondona was accused of being involved but he has since gone on Argentine TV channel TyC to deny speculation he had re-sold a ticket at an inflated price, saying he gave a friend the $220 ticket for the Argentina-Switzerland match last Tuesday.
”You think with how much I care about my family name I would do such a stupid thing?” Grondona said in a telephone interview on Thursday. The incident became public knowledge after a journalist, Andres Burgo, posted a picture of a ticket with ”Humberto Mario Grondona” written on it. Burgo also claimed that the ticket was bought by his friend for twice the actual value.
As for Grondona, he works for the Argentina football federation where his father has been president for 35 years. Julio Grondona is chairman of FIFA’s influential finance committee and is No. 2 on FIFA’s executive committee to President Sepp Blatter.
That’s a pretty influential role.
Since Thursday’s statement on the wider investigation, Police have since released more details about the scheme they uncovered, In that they stated that the source of the tickets is staying at the Copacabana Palace Hotel, which is used by senior FIFA officials.
FIFA spokeswoman Delia Fischer said soccer’s governing body was analyzing a police report on the case before confirming details or taking action but has reemphasized that anyone found guilty of scalping, and other ticket scandals, would face heavy sanctions.
The match is really opening up now, and France has begun to assert itself with an opener just beyond the half-hour mark.
[ MORE: Denmark, Australia draw, leaving Group C wide open ]
Kylian Mbappe has given Les Bleus a 1-0 lead over Peru after a deflected Olivier Giroud cross found the Monaco attacker just in front of goal for a tap-in finish.
The sequence began after Paul Pogba dispossessed Peru deep in their own half, before dishing the ball off to Giroud.
The goal for Mbappe is his first at a World Cup, as the 19-year-old continues to impress for both club and country.
Morocco’s World Cup journey will conclude after the group stage, but the African side isn’t pleased with how their second match transpired on Wednesday against Portugal.
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The Moroccans have lodged a complaint with FIFA against referee Mark Geiger — an American who has become one of the most well-known officials in Major League Soccer.
Geiger was alleged to have asked Portuguese captain Cristiano Ronaldo for his jersey at halftime of the 1-0 win over Morocco, to which Geiger has categorically denied the claims.
FIFA released the following statement on the matter:
The claims stemmed from Morocco player Nordin Amrabat, who addressed the matter in an interview following the match.
“I don’t know what [Geiger] is used to, but he was very impressed by Cristiano [Ronaldo],” Amrabat said. “I’ve been just told by Pepe that in the [first half], he asked if he could have his shirt. Come on, man. What are we talking about? … We are at the World Cup, not a circus here.”
Geiger returned to action on Thursday as video assistant referee for the Denmark-Australia match, which included an important alteration in a call that led to an Australia penalty kick.
Denmark and Australia settled for a 1-1 draw on Thursday, as this exciting Group C affair had nothing to separate the two nations at the end of 90 minutes.
[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ]
As it stands, the Danes lead the group with four points, while Australia earned its first point of the World Cup.
France will meet Peru later on Thursday, with Les Bleus having won its first match and Peru having suffered defeat to Denmark.
The Danes broke through after seven minutes when Nicolai Jørgensen picked out a perfect back-heel pass to Christian Eriksen at the top of the box, before the Tottenham Hotspur attacker volleyed home for a 1-0 lead.
Jørgensen nearly doubled the Denmark advantage in the 24th minute when the 27-year-old had an open header from close range that skewed just wide of the target.
Australia worked its way into the match following the opener, and were awarded a penalty kick in the 37th minute after VAR Mark Geiger altered an initial decision for a handball inside the box.
Mile Jedinak converted the spot kick to level the match at 1-1, giving the Socceroos life.
A dangerous free kick four minutes later almost gave Denmark the lead once again, however, Eriksen couldn’t get a crucial touch on the ball to knock it over the goal line before Ryan collected.
The second half continued with lightning pace from both sides, and Aaron Mooy‘s 71st minute blast came inches away from giving Australia an improbable lead.
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The two nations will conclude Group C play on June 26, as Denmark faces France and Australia takes on CONMEBOL side Peru.
The Socceroos battled admirably in the latter stages of the first half, and Australia was rewarded for their efforts.
Australia has leveled the match at 1-1 after a Mile Jedinak penalty kick cancelled out Christian Eriksen’s stunning opener in the seventh minute.
After an initial decision to play on by the head referee, VAR Mark Geiger opted to award a penalty kick to the Aussies after Yussuf Poulsen was caught with his hand away from his body on a Mathew Leckie header.
Poulsen was also shown a yellow card for the infraction, which rules him out for Denmark’s group-stage finale against France.