Football owner faces Rio touting charge

Marcus EvansImage copyright
Shenston family

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Ipswich town owner Marcus Evans is one of nine people facing charges

The owner of Ipswich Town Football Club is facing charges in connection with a ticket-touting case in August’s Olympic Games in Brazil.

Marcus Evans is among nine people investigated over ticket scalping, conspiracy and ambush marketing.

Mr Evans, who runs his own sports hospitality company, denied any wrong-doing and said the allegations are “totally without foundation”.

The exact full charges against Mr Evans have yet to be confirmed to the BBC.

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NPAS Boreham

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Marcus Evans is the owner of Ipswich Town Football Club, whose home ground is Portman Road

Brazilian prosecutor Marcos Kac told Associated Press he had decided to charge Mr Evans, along with Olympic Council of Ireland President Patrick Hickey and seven others, after reviewing the police investigation.

A spokesman for Mr Evans, who runs the Marcus Evans Group and THG Sports, confirmed he was aware of the charges but referred to previous statements which said the companies had “acted at all times lawfully and any suggestion to the contrary is just not true”.

Ticket scalping, or ticket touting, involves the resale of tickets for admission to events at a higher price, while ambush marketing involves a company trying to associate its products with an event that already has official sponsors.

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Police allege businessmen plotted to transfer tickets illegally and sell them on at a higher price

Mr Hickey, 71, has formally stood aside as president of the Olympic Council of Ireland and European Olympic Committees’ president during the investigation.

Fellow Irishman Kevin Mallon, who has also had charges passed against him, is the Dublin-based director of Mr Evans’ hospitality company THG Sports.

Police allege Mr Hickey plotted with businessmen to transfer tickets illegally from a sports company called Pro 10 to THG Sports, which was a non-authorized vendor and allegedly sold them for very high fees.

Both men deny any wrongdoing.

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