The tickets to see the World Cup are a hot commodity and fans would do about anything to have a good view of their team and cheer the players on. Apparently, this would include using a wheelchair, acting disabled and going to a special section that caters to individuals who might need special assistance. According to Marketwatch on Friday, the scam works like a charm until a player scores a goal (or has an amazing play) and the individual who isn't disabled jumps out of the chair and seems to have no physical limitations. Onlookers are shocked to see the individuals are miraculously healed and the situation has caused some suspicion in Brazil.
According to the New York Post on Friday, the fans were captured on CCTV and social media had photographs of several individuals standing in the wheelchair section during the opening game at Sao Paulo. Other games have also had reports of people standing and one report describes a couple dancing after a goal. The police in Brazil are investigating the incidents and promising to get to the bottom of the ticket fraud.
So how do patrons how have no physical limitations get tickets for the wheelchair section of the stadiums? Apparently tickets for disabled people have been passed on by scalper and ticket seller to fans willing to fake handicap limitations to gain stadium access. Since it is not polite to question someone’s physical condition, there would have been little issue if the people committing the fraud didn't stand up and start cheering and moving like they had no issues.
The latest scam hitting the World Cup has some people thinking about the last time the wheelchair ploy was used by healthy individuals trying to cheat the system. After several investigations, it was brought to the attention of Disneyland and Disney World that elite guests were hiring people with wheelchairs or getting wheelchairs at the park, even they weren't needed, to jump line.
This World Cup scandal is quite shocking and a reminder that even at one of the largest sporting events in the world, it is necessary to keep an eye for dishonesty.