RIO DE JANEIRO — An investigation into scalping World Cup hospitality tickets threatens to mar what has been a successful tournament in Brazil.
Police in Rio de Janeiro conducted Operation Jules Rimet — after the original World Cup trophy which Brazil retained with its third title in 1970 — in the five-star Copacabana Palace Hotel used by top FIFA officials, including its president Sepp Blatter.
A trusted executive of the MATCH group, a longtime FIFA partner which has exclusive rights to corporate hospitality worth hundreds of millions of dollars, was arrested for questioning.
Here are the main players in the case:
Parent company of brothers Jaime and Enrique Byrom from Mexico. Byrom plc, which is based near Manchester, England, and Byrom Holdings plc, registered in the Isle of Man tax haven, oversee a network of subsidiaries specializing in sports event management with operations in Brazil, South Africa, Switzerland and the United States.
Zurich-based subsidiary which owns exclusive rights to sell and market World Cup corporate tickets. MATCH Hospitality paid $120 million to FIFA for rights to the 2014 tournament. It was allocated 445,500 tickets by FIFA, and said it sold 290,000 packages to 11,400 corporate and private customers.
MATCH Hospitality's sales at this World Cup have topped $600 million.
It has paid FIFA $300 million, plus a share of profits, in two-tournament deal to retain the rights for 2018 World Cup in Russia and 2022 in Qatar. Also runs hospitality program for men's tennis season-ending finals event in London in 2014 and '15. Majority shareholder is Byrom Holdings. Minority shareholders include Japanese advertising agency Dentsu and Switzerland-based marketing agency Infront Sports and Media.
Wholly owned subsidiary of Byrom plc appointed by FIFA to provide logistics for the World Cup: Accommodation, including for staff, media and sponsors, ticketing services and information technology. Retained to provide accommodation at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and for FIFA's annual congress meeting.
Directors include Ray Whelan, a brother-in-law of the Byroms who is suspected by Rio police of supplying the scalpers with tickets. He was arrested Monday and released in the early hours of Tuesday.
Infront Sports and Media