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
Mario Balotelli to Liverpool: Best memes as Twitter reacts to imminent £16m transfer
Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal joins Arsenal and Chelsea in the race for Sami Khedira
Mario Balotelli takes 50 per cent pay cut to join Liverpool as Samuel as Eto’o waits in the wings if deal falls through
Crystal Palace next manager latest: Palace consider Ally McCoist - EXCLUSIVE
Click here for the full story." title="When a youngster asked for an autograph outside Manchester City's training ground, Balotelli demanded to know why the boy was playing truant. After the child revealed he was being bullied, Balotelli drove the boy and his mother to the school in question so he could tackle the bully himself. He demanded to see the headmaster to make him aware of the issue and then mediated between the two boys to resolve the problem. A source said: 'Mario feels strongly about bullying.' Click here for the full story." width="88" height="52" />Mario Balotelli: The funniest stories
- 1 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 2 West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State
- 3 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for pageant
- 4 Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile