World Cup 2014: British boss of Fifa partner Ray Whelan arrested in Brazil ticket tout probe
The arrest came as part of Operation Jules Rimet, Brazil police's investigation into ticket touting which has seen detectives make 11 arrests last week and break up an international gang
Brazilian police have arrested the British chief executive of a Fifa partner company as part of an investigation into illegal World Cup ticket sales.
Ray Whelan from Match Hospitality was arrested on Monday at the Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro, where officials from the world’s football governing body are also staying.
The arrest came as part of Operation Jules Rimet, Brazil police's investigation into ticket touting which has seen detectives make 11 arrests last week and break up an international gang. That gang is accused of illegally reselling tickets, including some originally understood to have been originally allocated to players.
Police say the gang earned as much as $90m (£52m) per tournament and could have operated at four World Cups. The authorities believe some of the tickets were sold to foreign tourists.
Video: Police arrest British man for illegal World Cup ticket sales
A spokesman for the Rio de Janeiro State Security Secretariat confirmed Mr Whelan was in custody and would spend Monday night in a Rio police station. Match Hospitality is a division of Byrom plc, a company based at Cheadle in Cheshire. Mr Whelan is not an employee of Fifa's but has become well-known in recent years in connection with the group’s Fifa contracts. A few hours before news of the arrest emerged, Match Hospitality announced it had blocked sales to four companies after tickets were seized from touts by Brazilian police.
The four companies are Atlanta Sportif, whose chief executive was one of those arrested in Rio de Janeiro, Reliance Industries Ltd, Jet Set Sports and Pamodzi.
Latest in Sport
Liverpool vs Bolton report: Brilliant Adam Bogdan produces heroics to earn Wanderers a replay
What time is the 2015 WWE Royal Rumble on? And full card
Cristiano Ronaldo vine: Real Madrid forward sent-off for kicking and striking opponent during 2-1 win over Cordoba
Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
Arsenal transfer news and rumours: Gabriel Paulista fee agreed as Gunners make £13.5m bid to sign Villarreal defender - reports
- 1 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 4 Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 5 Syrian refugee child beaten by Istanbul Burger King manager for eating customer’s leftover food
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners