Tuesday 25 October 2016

Olympic ticketing controversy: 10 things you need to know so far

Published 22/08/2016 | 07:13

Pat Hickey and his wife Sylviana with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow in 2014
Pat Hickey and his wife Sylviana with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow in 2014

What is the ticketing controversy all about?

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  • Brazilian authorities claim a conspiracy was hatched to profit to the tune of €2.9m from above-cost ticket touting at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
  • They allege the scheme involved Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) president Pat Hickey (71), British hospitality firm THG Sports and an Irish ticketing company called Pro10 Sports Management.
  • It is claimed some tickets were being sold for 18 times their face value.
  • It all started when Irish man Kevin Mallon (35), who is a director of THG Sports, was arrested in Rio on August 5 along with his translator. Police alleged he was in possession of over 800 tickets.
  • Pro10, a firm whose directors are football agents Eamonn Collins (47) and Michael Glynn (47) and financial advisor Ken Murray (41), was the sole "authorised ticket reseller", or ATR, appointed by the OCI to sell Irish tickets. A senior detective said their theory is that Pro10 was created to enable the diversion of tickets to THG - with Pro10 effectively acting as "a bridge" between the OCI and THG.
  • Brazilian police arrested OCI president PAt Hickey at his hotel room last Wednesday on suspicion of conspiracy, ticket touting and illicit marketing. If charged and convicted he could face up to seven years in prison.
  • Since his arrest, Mr Hickey has temporarily stepped aside from the OCI and his role on the International Olympic Committee's executive board.
  • Following Mr Hickey's arrest, the OCI decided to ditch its own internal investigation. It said it would co-operate with whatever probe is launched by the minister. The OCI announced it would also separately commission its own independent investigation. It is thought this will be conducted by outside consultants.
  • Yesterday, a Brazilian judge has issued a warrant for the passport of FAI chief executive and Olympic Council of Ireland vice-president John Delaney.
  • Mr Delaney is one of six people listed on the warrant, alongside acting OCI president William O’Brien and OCI officials Linda O’Reilly, Dermot Henihan, Kevin Kilty and Stephen Martin - there is no suggestion of any wrongdoing on the parts of those listed.

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