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SBD/July 11, 2014/People and Pop Culture
FIFA Scalping Suspect Whelan On The Run As Fugitive After Sneaking Out Of Hotel
Published July 11, 2014
TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN: The GLOBE & MAIL's Nolen & Andreoni write Whelan fleeing police is the "latest twist in a scandal playing out in the last days of Brazil’s World Cup." Whelan is based in Brazil, where he "handled 'hospitality packages' and hotel accreditation for FIFA" through Match. Security footage from the Copacabana Palace hotel showed Whelan and his lawyer "departing from the service door" 15 minutes before police arrived to arrest him -- "leading police to speculate that someone called from the court with news of the warrant, not uncommon in a judiciary plagued by corruption" (GLOBE & MAIL, 7/11).
GMR IN COMPLIANCE: GMR Marketing, which is the official hospitality sales agency in the U.S. for Match, underwent a full review of its business operations and was determined to be in compliance with Match and FIFA regulations. GMR Head of Global Sports & Entertainment JAN KATZOFF said that the review took place over the last few weeks as news broke that Brazilian police were investigating the alleged ticket-scalping ring. Katzoff: "We did a complete review and communicated to our subagents (for hospitality packages sold in the U.S.) that they had to be compliant as well.” GMR’s hospitality sales in Brazil have been strong, triple what it sold in South Africa in '10. Katzoff said that the agency, which is in the final year of its current Match contract, will evaluate its sales results in the coming months and follow the ongoing investigation of Match in Brazil before making a decision about renewing its agreement. Katzoff said, “Assuming the debrief (on Brazil sales) is successful and we understand the nature of what transpired in this investigation and it’s resolved to our satisfaction, our goal would be to reach an agreement (with Match for the '18 World Cup) by early 2015, but we have a lot of things to work through first” (Tripp Mickle, Staff Writer).