Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Ticket Scandal; EXCLUSIVE: FIFA Chief Linked to Black Market England Matches

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Ticket Scandal; EXCLUSIVE: FIFA Chief Linked to Black Market England Matches

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID BOND

ONE of the most senior figures in world football was plunged into controversy today after it emerged tickets issued to him for the England- Argentina match were sold on the black market.

Mohammed Bin Hammam, a senior member on FIFA's executive committee and one of the closest allies of the organisation's disgraced president, Sepp Blatter, is already under investigation after tickets with his name on were sold at vastly inflated prices to England supporters for their Group F games.

But the pressure on FIFA to act will increase after Standard Sport discovered more tickets bearing Bin Hammam's name were being sold to England fans for last Friday's clash in Sapporo.

Two England supporters paid [pound]700 each for the tickets which had a face value of only [pound]100 per ticket.

Both carried the name "Mr M Bin Hammam Al-Abdulla" and were purchased through an unofficial ticket website, Razor Gator, based in Beverley Hills in America, now being looked into by FIFA.

We faxed a copy of one of the tickets to FIFA's assistant general secretary Jon Doviken, who confirmed the ticket was one issued to Bin Hammam.

The man from Qatar, one of the most powerful of the 24 FIFA committee members, is about to add to his power base by becoming the president of the Asian Football Confederation.

Doviken said: "It does not look good and I am absolutely shocked and stunned that tickets from within the FIFA family have ended up on the black market.

"FIFA has been working so hard to avoid this sort of thing happening. We thought we were being pretty successful but we will now have to look, once again, into what has happened."

Last week FIFA announced Bin Hammam would personally investigate how the tickets with his name on ended up on the black market. There are no signs that his inquiries have made any progress.

FIFA's 24-man executive committee were able to buy 10 tickets each at face value for every first round game and five for each round after that. …

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