RIO DE JANEIRO: FIFA is looking forward to receiving shortly a final police report into the investigation phase of Operacao Jules Rimet writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Spokesperson Delia Fischer said today that the world football federation believed the inquiry into an illicit tickets scam had reached this stage.
This followed the arrest and then release of Ray Whelan, the de facto director of accommodation for Match Services one of FIFA’s commercial partners. He is defined by the company as “executive consultant.”
Fischer refuse to speculate on the outcome of the investigation and possible repercussions concerning FIFA’s contractual relationship with Match.
She said: “It’s the interest of FIFA that this matter is fully investigated and solved quickly. Since 2009 we have worked with local authorities not only in Brazil but globally to clamp down on any authorised sale of tickets. It’s important that tickets are dealt with properly for the fans who receive then.”
Tickets sale figures
Fischer said that, to put the issue into context, FIFA had sold 2.4m of the 3.1m available World Cup to fans via its own ticketing website.
She added: “We are fully collaborating with the local authorities and Operacao Jules Rimet remains one of many operations ongoing and we are very pleased that the legislation in Brazil enables action to be taken.”
Fischer said she was unable to comment on media reports about tickets found in Whelan’s possession.
She also clarified reports about “FIFA phones,” saying: “All delegations have mobile phones provided by the sponsor. Not only FIFA employees. So we don’t call them FIFA phones but event phones and they are also for external staff and drivers for example.”
A full list of phone holders had been provided to police.
Fischer refused to make any assessment of Match’s statement that Whelan, despite the sensitivity of the issue, was returning to work at the heart of the World Cup support operation.
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