Brazilian police are carefully examining numerous pictures from CCTV and social media which show supposedly wheelchair-bound Brazil fans jumping during the opening game of the tournament in Sao Paulo, between the team of the host country and Croatia.
Local police officers suppose that some football fans who acquired tickets on the black market may have tried to cover their tracks by using wheelchairs to enter the stadium.
“Many of the concession tickets designated for disabled fans have fallen into the hands of touts amid the scramble for tickets for some of the most popular games,” The Telegraph reports. “There have also been cases of young adults being seen in seats reserved for pensioners.”
Touts have been selling tickets for disabled people in front on football arenas and stadiums as well as on social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter. The scam is particularly profitable as each ticket for a wheelchair user comes with a free one for a companion.
Selling a ticket for more than face value is a crime under legislation of Brazil, for which the maximum sentence reachs even four years in prison.
However, tickets for Brazil matches have been on sale for around £1,000, as much as 10 times face value. One Rio tout was apprehanded while trying to sell some tickets for this week’s Spain v Chile match in the city for 1,200 Brazilian reals (£350).
There are 22 pictures on CCTV which unveil supposedly wheelchair-bound fans standing up at the 66,000-seat Sao Paulo Arena, where England played on Thursday night.
Around 30 similar pictures have been made by located nearby tourists and football fans who attended the game. “The World Cup is creating miracles,” joked Brazil supporter Andrea Dias. Lawyer Sonita Hayward wrote online: “Bet they’re not feeling so clever now.”
However, the investigation is likely to be tricky and sensitive for police because some of the fans may be disabled and unable to walk long distances, but can still stand for short periods.
Meanwhile, World Cup 2014 games continue and yesterday Costa Rica beat Italian team while France defeated Switzerland.
“We kept our heads. It was a beautiful match… The people of Costa Rica deserve this. They supported the team and me. This was for them,” said the team’s coach Jorge Luis Pinto.
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli tried to stay positive before the Uruguay clash, with his side needing a draw to qualify due to superior goal difference.
“Right now I don’t think we need to be negative, we need to think about recovering our energies because we have another game in a few days’ time, we play against Uruguay and whether we qualify depends on that,” Prandelli said to reporters.
The Italian coach also admitted that he did’e blame the midday heat in Recife for the defeat.
“We know about the calendar, we’ve known it for some time,” Prandelli said. “It’s useless to try and find excuses, we’re not looking for excuses, we have to be ready at the kickoff.”