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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, has been arrested by Brazilian police as part of an investigation into the illegal sale of tickets at World Cup 2014.

Whelan, a director from Match Hospitality and the former agent of Sir Bobby Charlton, was arrested at a Rio de Janeiro hotel where Sepp Blatter, president of Fifa, and other officials of the football world’s governing body were also staying.

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It has been alleged that certain officials have illegally resold tickets, including some that were allocated to players. Whelan was released after questioning.

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.

 

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