British executive arrested in probe into illegal ticket sales
A Match Hospitality director has been held as part of Operation Jules Rimet – a police investigation into ticket touting at this summer's tournament in Brazil
Ray Whelan, the chief executive of a Fifa partner, was arrested by Brazilian police as part of an investigation into the illegal sale of tickets at World Cup 2014.
The Briton, a director from Match Hospitality and the former agent of Sir Bobby Charlton, had been staying at the same Rio de Janeiro hotel as Fifa president Sepp Blatter and several other officials from football’s governing body when he was taken into custody. Whelan was later released after questioning.
It has been alleged that certain officials have illegally resold tickets, including some that were allocated to players.
Last week, 11 people were held over illegal ticket sales and those found guilty could face charges of money laundering, criminal association and illegally selling tickets.
Whelan is not a Fifa employee but Match have worked closely with the governing body since 1986 and the company recently paid $240 million (£140m) to secure the exclusive contract to provide hospitality packages until 2023.
Police believe that an international gang could have earned $90m (€66m) per tournament for ticket touting and could have operated at as many as four World Cups.
Philippe Blatter, Sepp Blatter’s nephew, is the president of a company which is a shareholder in Match.