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MATCH rejects Ray Whelan 'fugitive' claims

Hospitality company MATCH has issued a strongly worded rebuttal of police claims that its chief executive, Ray Whelan, had become a "fugitive".

Police in Rio de Janeiro said Mr Whelan, who was arrested earlier this week as part of an investigation into alleged World Cup ticket touting, had left his hotel before officers came to re-arrest him.

But MATCH insisted there was no evidence Mr Whelan had deliberately evaded the police, saying: "Mr Ray Whelan and his attorney Mr Fernando Fernandes left Copacabana Palace Hotel on 10 July prior to the arrival of the police."

Police released this CCTV footage of Ray Whelan, wearing a light blue shirt, in his Rio hotel.

"The CCTV images of the internal hotel surveillance system distributed to the media show that Mr Whelan did not rush from the hotel. Police arrived thereafter, and finding Mr Whelan was not there, simply requested that he present himself at the 18th Precinct," the statement continued.

Read: Brazilian police release CCTV of 'fugitive' Ray Whelan

The company also said it understood the terms of Mr Whelan's initial release from custody did not restrict his movements, "provided he stayed in Brazil".

MATCH added that Mr Whelan's lawyers have sought to revoke the order for his arrest.

National

Ex-Liverpool star: 'I see the logic' of letting Suarez go

Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge said he could "see the logic" in the club letting Luis Suarez leave after he was hit with a four-month ban for biting a player at the World Cup.

Some Liverpool supporters were not overly distressed at the move either - one fan told ITV News he "didn't want him" at the club anyway, while another said he was "not a good role model".

ITV News Sports Correspondent Ian Payne reports.

Read: How the internet reacted to the Luis Suarez transfer

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Full report: Greater Manchester Police launch gun amnesty

by Victoria Grimes

Greater Manchester are launching a gun amnesty as part of a to week campaign. From tomorrow, anyone with guns or ammunition can hand them into a police station, with no questions asked.

The campaign has the full support of James Gregory. His 16-year-old son Guiseppe was shot dead in 2009 outside a pub in Manchester.

Artist behind Liverpool Giants describes newest puppet

The French artist behind the Liverpool Giants Spectacular has been speaking about his new show, which will take place on the streets of the city later this month.

Jean-Luc Courcoult's 30-foot-high "Little Girl" puppet and her dog Xylo are returning to Liverpool for the UK's flagship World War One commemoration event. The three-day street theatre will also star a Grandmother, who will be the first Giant to speak.

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