FIFA Investigating Croatian TV Commentator for Ticket Scalping at World Cup

By 6 September 2018

Two HRT employees allegedly tried to sell dozens of tickets.

Drago Ćosić, one of the most famous Croatian sports TV commentators, who became a celebrity after commenting on the recent World Cup where Croatia reached the finals, has allegedly participated in reselling tickets at the black market, reports Jutarnji List on September 6, 2018.

The price of an illegally sold ticket for the finals between France and Croatia reached almost 20,000 euro, and it is rumoured that four tickets for the match were offered on the black market. In the end, the tickets were not sold because the sale was blocked by FIFA at the last moment.

The affair started thanks to the FIFA, which asked the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) for an explanation of why the tickets which were given to the EBU ended up on the black market. The EBU then requested an explanation from Croatian Radio Television (HRT) because the serial numbers showed that the tickets were received by HRT, Croatia’s public broadcaster, which had the broadcast rights for the World Cup. The EBU contacted the HRT directorate asking for an explanation.

At first, the HRT management could not believe what they had heard, because they did not know that someone from the company even requested and received the tickets. They immediately launched an investigation and interviewed two employees, the commentator and an international coordinator. According to informal information, they are Drago Ćosić and Saša Dedić.

“The two employees said that they shared their World Cup tickets with their friends and that they did not know whether the friends used them to go to the games or had rather tried to resell them. However, further investigation has shown that someone from the HRT requested as many as 40 tickets several months before the start of the World Cup, as well as that no one from HRT officially knew that someone asked for the tickets. It is certain that the HRT staff and our business partners did not receive the tickets,” said an HRT source, adding that the scandal was a huge embarrassment for the reputation of Croatia and the HRT.

“We have found out, through the EBU and the FIFA, that two HRT employees, without our knowledge, sought and received a total of 40 tickets,” added the source, noting that disciplinary proceedings were underway against the two employees, which could lead to their dismissal.

Officially, the HRT said it could not comment at this time. “We have no comment, but we can confirm that an internal procedure is in progress,” said the HRT.

“I am sorry, but I cannot say or comment anything about this topic,” said Ćosić.

Translated from Jutarnji List (reported by Klara Rožman).