Fifa chief’s son in ticket tout scandal

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Humberto Grondona AFP Humberto Grondona. Photo: MARWAN NAAMANI


London - The son of the second most powerful man in world football has become embroiled in a World Cup ticket scandal.

Humberto Grondona, son of Argentina’s senior Fifa vice-president Julio, has admitted selling on tickets to a friend contrary to the governing body’s regulations.

The tickets are among those seized by Brazilian police as part of investigations into ticket touting which has seen 11 people arrested. Pictures of one of the tickets seized with Humberto Grondona’s name on it have been circulated.

The disclosure that Grondona’s son has been involved is a huge embarrassment to Fifa - he has a post as a technical advisor to the governing body. His father has been a Fifa executive committee member since 1988 and is chairman of Fifa’s finance committee.

Grondona said he spent more than $9 000 (about R96 800) on 24 Category One tickets for group games and knock-out matches including a semi-final and final and sold some on to a friend. He said: “I bought all of them for more than $9 000, I have a friend that is someone very well known in Argentina who wanted to come and I sold to him some of these tickets.

“He on his part gave the tickets to another friend, what they then did with the tickets I have no idea.”

Asked for the identity of the person he sold the tickets to, Grondona junior added: “I cannot tell you. But do you think I would dirty my hands for $220. The truth is that I have no idea where these tickets went to.”

Delia Fischer, Fifa’s head of media, would not comment on the investigation but said if anyone was found to have breached regulations they would face disciplinary action.

Grondona junior is not, however, the Fifa official at the heart of the multi-million-pound ticket scandal uncovered by Operation Jules Rimet, according to police. Fabio Barucke, the investigator in charge of the probe behind the 11 arrests, said the ticketing gang aimed to make up to £60m from tournaments they had targeted. The suspected ringleader has been named as Mohamadou Lamine Fofana, an Algerian national. - Daily Mail

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