World Cup tickets official arrested


Brazilian police have arrested the chief executive of a Fifa partner company as part of investigations into the illegal sale of World Cup tickets.

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

Last week, police held 11 people and broken up an international gang.

They are accused of illegally reselling tickets, including some 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.

Computers seized

Mr Whelan was arrested at the luxurious Copacabana Palace Hotel on Monday.

As part of the investigation, police said last week they had identified the first name of the alleged Fifa official from telephone calls.

Fabio Barucke, the investigator in charge of the case, said the official had clearance to Fifa offices, stadiums and other administrative areas where he would have access to match tickets.

The official, Mr Barucke said at the time , was not Brazilian and was in the country only because of the current tournament.

Fifa has said in a statement that it plans to analyse the resold tickets that were seized by police and would assist Brazilian authorities in identifying their source.

Among items seized during the arrests last week were 100 tickets, computers, US dollars, mobile phones and documents.

Those arrested could face charges of money laundering, criminal association and illegally selling tickets.