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Argentina’s football association admits selling free World Cup tickets

July 16, 2014, 17:45 UTC+3

The organization’s vice-president Luis Segura expressed regret and called the incident a mistake

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©  AP

BUENOS AIRES, July 16. /ITAR-TASS/. The Argentinean Football Association (AFA) has indeed engaged in reselling tickets to matches of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Local media reported this on Wednesday with reference to the organization’s vice-president Luis Segura.

“We’ve made a mistake and regret it,” the official said. “The Fédération Internationale de Football Association gave us the remaining tickets, and we sold them at cost price.”

In early July, the police in a special raid detained 11 scalpers that sold tickets designated for FIFA sponsors, footballers and national football federations. FIFA provides its sponsors, national football federations and members of the organization with free tickets. In addition, the police closed three travel bureaus involved in illegal activities and froze its assets.

According to media reports, several of the tickets illegally being sold and seized during the special raid were registered to the name of AFA president Julio Grondona and his son Mario Umberto Grondona. According to the investigation data, in particular, they sold for $495 tickets for the championship’s starting match between Brazil and Croatia (3-1), and for $220 tickets for the 1/8 finals game between Argentina and Switzerland (1-0).

Earlier, the AFA president dismissed the reports about his attempts to sell the tickets. He said he had given a ticket to his friend for free.

Meanwhile, Grondona’s son confessed in the actions committed.

FIFA Marketing Director Thierry Weil stated earlier that the organization would analyze and determine the holders of the seized tickets and check their origin to help Brazilian authorities find out the sources of the ‘leak’ and trace the channels of ticket sales.

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