Colombian federation, FIFA official fined in ticket scam

BOGOTÁ, Colombia (AP) — The Colombian soccer federation and officials including FIFA Council member Ramón Jesurún have been fined millions of dollars for irregular ticket sales to World Cup qualifying games.

In a decision announced late Monday, a Colombian business regulation agency imposed a $4.3 million fine on the federation after a two-year investigation.

Jesurún, the federation president and a FIFA Council member since 2016, was fined the equivalent of $83,000.

Jesurún’s predecessor, Luis Bedoya, was fined $72,000. Bedoya pleaded guilty to financial corruption charges brought by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2015 and was later banned for life from soccer by the FIFA ethics committee on charges including bribery.

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Jesurún faces being investigated by the FIFA ethics committee.

FIFA said Tuesday it would seek “additional details” about the case, which is bound by its confidentiality rules.

Colombian state prosecutors are conducting a separate investigation.

The business regulation agency said the soccer federation and a ticket agency were guilty of “anti-competitive conduct” in marking up ticket prices for Colombia’s home games in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

Tickets were sold at more than three times the face value for home games against Brazil and Uruguay.

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