Colombian FA and president Jesurun fined $4.6m for ticket scalping
The FCF, the Colombian soccer federation, and some of its senior officials have been fined $4.6 million for a World Cup ticket scalping scheme, the country's commerce regulator said on Monday.
The decision came after two years of investigation and included fines for officials of Ticket Ya, the FCF’s partner company set up to sell tickets for Colombia’s home qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The tickets were sold at well above market prices and restricted the ability of other firms to compete, investigators with the Superintendency of Industry and Commerce found.
The scam encompassed 42,221 tickets for eight of Colombia’s nine home qualifiers between October 2015 and October 2017, generating profits of more than $3.5 million.
In one of the examples cited, Colombia’s home qualifier against Brazil in Barranquilla, Ticket Ya charged 270,000 pesos ($74) for tickets with a face value of just 60,000 pesos, a mark up of 350 per cent.
The individuals fined included FCF president Ramon Jesurun and his vice-president Alvaro Gonzalez.
Luis Bedoya, the former head of the FCF, who resigned and pleaded guilty to corruption charges in the Fifa corruption scandal, was also fined.
He is already serving a lifetime ban from soccer handed down by Fifa, having admitted to receiving bribes “from approximately 2007 to 2015” for events including Colombia friendlies and regional competitions such as the Copa America and the Copa Libertadores.
The FCF said it will appeal the regulator's decision, citing a lack of evidence.
Colombia reached the last 16 of the 2018 World Cup, going out to England in a penalty shoot-out.