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Fifa partner's CEO Ray Whelan arrested over ticket scam

July 8 2014, 16:06

Ray Whelan (left) was arrested at Rio's luxurious Copacabana Palace HotelRay Whelan (left) was arrested at Rio's luxurious Copacabana Palace HotelBrazilian police have arrested the chief executive of a Fifa partner company as part of investigations into the illegal sale of World Cup ticketsm, bbc reports.

Ray Whelan from Match Hospitality was held at the Rio de Janeiro hotel where officials from the world's football governing body were also staying.

Last week, police held 11 people over illegal ticket sales.

They are accused of illegally reselling tickets, including some originally allocated to players.

Police say an international gang earned as much as $90m (£52m) per tournament and could have operated at four World Cups.

Computers seized

Mr Whelan, a British national, was arrested at the Copacabana Palace Hotel on Monday.

He was taken for questioning as part of the ongoing police investigation Operation Jules Rimet.

The UK Foreign Office said it was offering consular assistance.

The Switzerland-based Match Hospitality - part of UK sports event manager Byrom based in Cheadle, near Manchester - has so far made no public comment on the issue.

In a statement, Fifa said it "continues to fully collaborate with the local authorities and will provide any details requested to assist with this ongoing investigation".

"Fifa wants to reiterate as mentioned at various occasions its firm stance against any form of violation of the criminal law and the ticketing regulations, and is fully supporting the security authorities in our joint efforts to clamp down on any unauthorised ticket sales."

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