Colombian football federation fined for WC ticket racket

The Colombian football federation (FCF) has been fined for irregularities related to the sale of World Cup qualifying tickets, the country’s competition authority has said.

The Superintendency of Industry and Commerce (SIC), as the watchdog is known, said the FCF, two merchandise companies and 17 people were ordered to pay 18.35 billion pesos ($4.9 million), reports Xinhua news agency.

Individuals sanctioned include FCF president Ramon Jesurun and his predecessor Luis Bedoya.

SIC said the group formed a cartel that sold tickets for World Cup qualifiers from October 2015 to October 2017 at “excessively high prices.”

The scheme was allowed to prosper after Bogota-based firm Ticketshop was awarded the right to sell match tickets without a competitive bidding process, according to investigators.

Another company, Ticketya, was then hired to resell tickets at up to 3.5 times their original value, SIC said.

The FCF has denied any wrongdoing and said it would appeal the decision.