Police carried out an operation against scalpers in the vicinity of Allianz Parque before Palmeiras’ match against Athletico on September 6. Complaints from subscribers to Avanti, the São Paulo club’s member-supporter program, popped up on social networks and on the club’s channels. They would be entitled to tickets, but these were sold out.
The police detained money changers (later released) and seized tickets offered to the public for prices in excess of R$1,000. One of them was a captive chair in the Central West sector that belongs to the former president of the club Mustafa Contursi. His name is printed on the entry, shown to the Sheet involved in the investigation of the case.
Through an advisor, Mustafa claims not to know that a ticket in his name ended up in the hands of scalpers before the Libertadores semifinals. He says he has a few captive chairs at Allianz Parque, but he usually gives them away for free to trusted friends.
The ex-director does not rule out that one of them has passed the ticket on for sale, which would be something against his will and of which he was not informed. He also stated that he will question Palmeiras on the matter.
At the request of Palmeiras, an inquiry was opened to investigate the action of money changers. The normal ticket price depends on the stadium sector and the match. The game against Athletico was one of the most important for the team in the year. It was the definition of the spot in the final of the continental competition. Through normal channels, in Central Norte it would cost R$ 400. It is one of the most expensive.
The entry in the name of Mustafa Contursi, president of Palmeiras from 1993 to 2005, drew attention because it is not the first time that an episode of exchange involves his name. He was accused between 2017 and 2018 of selling 70 tickets that he received each match courtesy of Crefisa, the club’s sponsor.
The leader was sentenced in 2020 to a prison sentence converted into payment of 25 minimum wages (R$ 30,300 in current values), but the sentence was overturned by the STJ (Superior Court of Justice) months later.
Mustafa was the political godfather of Leila Pereira’s Palmeiras, now president of the association and Crefisa. The two came into conflict and are now adversaries.
The investigation is carried out by delegate Cesar Saad, from Drade (Delegation for Repression of Sport Crimes). Mustafa is not the only one to be called to testify. There is a list of directors and officers who will be heard. THE Sheet saw a list with 16 names.
Palmeiras informed Saad who is entitled to gratuities. In some cases, these people asked for a ticket, but were in a cabin where they did not need the ticket. These entries ended up in the hands of money changers. For the investigation, the biggest problem is at the time of sale. That’s where the fraud took place.
Because of these cases, Palmeiras changed the system for distributing tickets to advisors and will reformulate the sale by Avanti in 2023. More than 500 members of the member-supporter program have already been excluded because the club’s internal audit identified patterns that suggest fraud.
At the request of the police, Palmeiras started to release only one free entry for each counselor. Before that, they were also entitled to buy another one at a 50% discount. If they were members of Avanti, they could buy two more for the regular price.
The club must adopt the biometrics or facial recognition system to release tickets. The eticket sent to buyers is now made only three hours before departure to make resale difficult
A member of the investigation told the report that a case of 90 Avanti accounts that had the same registered credit card was identified. For the police, these are the most important cases to be investigated because they constitute a relevant fraud. The police consider it unlikely that any punishment will be imposed on counselors who have one or two tickets and these will end up in the hands of money changers.
wanted by SheetPalmeiras declined to comment on the matter and stated that it collaborates with the investigations.
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