RIO DE JANEIRO: FIFA said on Thursday two people had been arrested for illegally reselling World Cup tickets at the very hotel where staff from the world football body are staying in Rio de Janeiro.

The pair were seen offering tickets from different sources, including national football federations and FIFA sponsors, in a public area at the Rio Sofitel, Marketing Director Thierry Weil told journalists.

"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," Weil said.

He said FIFA had called the police, who arrested the pair -- one of whom spoke French -- after they were observed in an effort to determine how their operation worked.

They had 50 tickets in all, he said, but declined to name the companies or organisations the tickets originally belonged to, saying they were not to blame.

"This is clearly based on individuals that have struck a deal with those ticket touts," he said.

"These people were given hospitality tickets from a FIFA sponsor, but instead of enjoying the atmosphere in the stadium they want to make money with that."

The tickets were seized and cancelled.

Weil said FIFA's commercial affiliates had been given more than 200,000 World Cup tickets.

AFP