Ramon Jesurun, president of the Colombian Football Federation (FCF), is under investigation for allegedly illegally reselling 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying tickets and embezzlement.
Jesurun is a member of the ruling FIFA Council of world football’s governing body and vice-president of the South American Football Confederation (Conmebol). FIFA is looking into claims that he was involved in a resale scheme, along with a number of other officials.
More than 42,221 tickets were supposedly illegally embezzled and resold, with some inflating prices up to 350 per cent over face value, estimating a profit to be about $4.5m.
“The massive embezzlement of tickets and its resale were only possible because of actions attributed to the federation,” trade investigator Felipe Robledo said, according to the Associated Press news agency. “There were deliberate actions and deliberate omissions of the federation and its executives.”
The investigations began in October 2017 when Colombia faced Paraguay in Barranquilla.
In a statement, the FCF said the federation and its staff “will show their correctness, as they are the main victims and whistleblowers of such activities.”
The federation added: “From the Colombian Football Federation, we see with concern that the dynamics related to the resale of (tickets) is not an exclusive phenomenon of football, but affects all industries both nationally and internationally, which is why our commitment will be to face this problem.”
Authorities are also investigating Rodrigo Rendon Cano, the owner of the Real Cartagena club; his son Rodrigo Rendon Ruiz, plus ticket selling companies Ticketshop and Tu TicketYa.com.
Commenting on the probe, Jesurun said, according to Colombian newspaper El Tiempo: “They have not condemned anything or anyone. My colleagues only opened an investigation and with our lawyers we will show that we have nothing to do with the anomaly of the sale of the tickets.”
Image: Danilo Borges