January 2 – FIFA has been hit with a Swiss Supreme Court ruling ordering it to pay $16.8 million plus interest in compensation to US-based ticket broker JB Sports Marketing (JBSM), for World Cup tickets it never received.
The court ruled that the email trail between former FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke and Benny Alon of JBSM over the supply of tickets was legally binding, though FIFA had strongly argued otherwise.
JBSM planned to sell the tickets to clients above the face value of the tickets, in breach of FIFA’s ticketing policy but with the knowledge of Valcke.
The emails were a key factor in the firing of Valcke from FIFA in 2017, alleging Valcke had agreed to supply tickets to Alon that would be sold above face value on the black market for the 2014 and 2018 World Cups and that in April 2013. The deal allegedly included a $500,000 payment in cash to Valcke that he never received.
The Mail on Sunday newspaper said FIFA had confirmed that they had paid JBSM.
That settlement related to the 2014 World Cup. FIFA may now face a further claim from JBSM for unsupplied tickets for the 2018 World Cup.
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