Soccer prez involved in ticket-scalping ring?

President of the Argentine Football of Association Julio Grondona is seen after a meeting in Luque...

President of the Argentine Football of Association Julio Grondona is seen after a meeting in Luque December 20, 2012. (REUTERS/Jorge Adorno)

KURTIS LARSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:48 PM ET

FORTALEZA, Brazil -- The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) bemoans ticket scalpers almost as much as match-fixers.

It has taken measures to guard against the illegal re-sale of World Cup tickets.

FIFA has even threatened arrest, reportedly asking local police to round up a dozen or so alleged ticket scalpers working this tournament.

But what happens when one of their own is alleged to be involved in a ticket-scalping ring?

After 2006, FIFA began printing the names of purchasers on World Cup tickets to determine who -- at one point, at least -- owned the seats.

It turns out Julio Grondona, the president of the Argentine Football Association, or someone close to him, received tickets in advance of the tournament.

It also turns out tickets with Grondona's name on them have reportedly been re-sold for as much as six-times face value, according to Argentine publication Marca de Gol, which posted a picture of the ticket in question to its website Thursday.

A reporter from the BBC grilled FIFA officials Friday morning, demanding they answer why a top South American official is not only receiving tickets, but that the tickets are allegedly being re-sold for profit.

As usual, soccer's governing body offered little hope the issue would be resolved after one reporter suggested Grondona should be arrested.

"We cannot comment on specific investigations," said Delia Fischer, FIFA's head of media relations.

"Everybody who has violated the regulations will be sanctioned. We need to validate what tickets have been collected. We need to understand the channels and how tickets ended up somewhere."

According to multiple reports here in Brazil, a family member of Grondona even admitted to scalping.

"I can't comment on what he said," Fischer responded, when pressed about the report.

It got to the point where if someone would have asked Fischer her name, her response would have been scripted.

Something like, "I cannot comment on my name."

A joke, of course, but the allegation remains: FIFA fat cats are reportedly taking advantage of the system.

"We have far better measures in place than in the past," Fischer added. "It's always a fight against the black market."

A market that looks even worse when high-ranking FIFA officials and friends allegedly have their hands in the pot.


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