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SBD Global/July 8, 2014/World Cup

World Cup Hospitality Exec Ray Whelan Arrested In Rio De Janerio In Ticket Probe

Security stands outside the Copacabana Palace hotel following the arrest of Ray Whelan on Monday.
Police in Rio de Janeiro on Monday arrested Swiss hospitality and ticketing company Match Services CEO Ray Whelan "in connection with an ongoing investigation over VIP ticket scalping at the World Cup," according to Brian Homewood of REUTERS. Whelan "was arrested at the city's beachfront Copacabana Palace hotel as a result of a probe into the illegal resale of tickets for the ongoing tournament." Whelan's name, they added, "came up repeatedly in telephone conversations and other documentation that last week led to the arrest of 11 people." At the time, Rio police said that the probe suggested a FIFA official "had helped the detained ring of ticket scalpers." According to Match Services' web site, the agency "is the professional services company appointed by Fifa to provide ticketing, accommodation and event information technology" to FIFA. A Match spokesperson "could not immediately be contacted for comment on Whelan's arrest" (REUTERS, 7/7). The AP reported Match "is the main provider of hospitality packages for the World Cup" and paid $240M for the rights to sell corporate hospitality at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups. Re-selling World Cup tickets for profit "is illegal in Brazil and against Fifa rules." FIFA said earlier on Monday that "it had provided police with lists of telephone numbers for its staff and that of its service providers," which included Match. The hospitality company earlier "distanced itself from the ticket scalping scandal" in a statement which read, "Match Hospitality will be fully assisting the police in investigating the matter. It is important to highlight that so far no Match Hospitality staff member has been implicated with anything" (AP, 7/7).
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International Football, Brazil

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