World Cup 2014: Police investigate 'disabled' fans standing up during matches

World Cup 2014: Police investigate 'disabled' fans standing up during matches

RIO DE JANEIRO - Fifa has been boasting about how it is making Brazil 2014 accessible to all - including providing special audio commentary at selected stadiums and reserving at least 1 per cent of all tickets for the disabled.

But now the world body has been forced to investigate cases in which these concessionary disabled tickets - which also provide a free slot for helpers - are being abused.

Fans have been caught on CCTV jumping out of wheelchairs during goals and at critical moments during the matches, reported the Daily Record.

At least 22 pictures which show supposedly wheelchair- bound fans standing up at the 66,000-seater Sao Paulo arena where England played on Thursday are being probed by police.

"The World Cup is creating miracles," joked one Brazil supporter, Andrea Dias.

Meanwhile, two people have been arrested for illegally reselling tickets at the very hotel where Fifa officials are staying in Rio. The pair were seen offering tickets from different sources, including national football federations and Fifa sponsors, in a public area at the Rio Sofitel. Fifa's commercial affiliates had been given more than 200,000 tickets.

"For me it's amazing to see that ticket touts are coming to the official hotel of Fifa, sitting in between Fifa (staff) and selling tickets without any problem," Fifa marketing director Thierry Weil said.

The pair had 50 tickets in all, he added, but declined to name the companies or organisations the tickets originally belonged to. "People were given hospitality tickets from a sponsor, but instead of enjoying the atmosphere in the stadium, they want to make money with that." The tickets were seized and cancelled.

Fifa also said that it will boost security at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro after ticketless Chilean fans broke through barriers at the stadium in an effort to watch their side's match with Spain on Wednesday, leading to arrests.

"It is embarrassing," Fifa's security director Ralf Mutschke said of the incident. "I think we have to protect journalists and the media and there's no doubt about it, we also have to protect the fans."

The arrested fans - who numbered 90 according to the Chilean consul and included a Colombian and a Peruvian - have been given 72 hours to leave the country or face deportation.

Wednesday's breach comes after a group of fans in Argentina colours smashed through an entry gate at the Maracana before the country's first World Cup match on Sunday. Nine people were arrested after that incident and were released without charge after being booked and put on file.

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