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Whelan's firm 'totally committed' to helping police

Match, the company British 'fugitive' Ray Whelan works for, have said they remain 'totally committed' to helping Brazilian police with their investigation into illegal World Cup tickets.

A statement from chief executive Jaime Byrom said: "Notwithstanding our belief that the action taken against Mr Whelan was illegal and baseless.

"Match Services and I personally remain totally committed to assist the authorities or any other jurisdiction in Fifa's fight against illegal ticket sales."

Police first arrested Mr Whelan, a former agent to Sir Bobby Charlton, on Monday after seizing 83 hospitality packages and tickets, a laptop, two mobile phones and 1,300 US dollars.

Match admitted that offering the packages for cash was "highly unusual", but said it was "permitted under the various terms and conditions".

Brit in World Cup tickets probe now a 'fugitive'

Ray Whelan from Match Hospitality was arrested in Rio de Janeiro on Monday but was later released.
Ray Whelan from Match Hospitality was arrested in Rio de Janeiro on Monday but was later released. Credit: RTV

Police in Brazil have declared British Fifa partner Ray Whelan a 'fugitive' after he allegedly fled before they could re-arrest him.

Officers arrived at the Copacabana Palace hotel with an arrest warrant, but Mr Whelan was not there.

Rio police investigator Fabio Barucke told reporters outside the hotel: "He's now considered a fugitive. We have security camera images of him exiting the hotel through a service door."

Mr Whelan from Match Hospitality was arrested in Rio de Janeiro on Monday but was later released on the terms he could not leave the country.

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Sir Mick Jagger denies being Brazil's World Cup jinx

Despite being branded a jinx after Brazil's crushing World Cup semi-final defeat, Sir Mick Jagger has refused to take the blame.

Sir Mick, who was pictured at the Mineirao stadium with his son Lucas, looked on as the host nation was beaten 7-1 by Germany.

Brazil fans smile before the World Cup semi-final in which they lost 7-1 to Germany,
Brazil fans smile before the World Cup semi-final in which they lost 7-1 to Germany, Credit: Mike Egerton/PA Wire/Press Association Images

But the Rolling Stones frontman told The Sun (£), "I can take the blame for the first German goal ... but not the other six!"

Read: Brazilian fans blame 'jinx' Sir Mick Jagger after humilating World Cup defeat

Fans wearing Neymar masks gather ahead of semi-final

Fans wearing Neymar masks have gathered in Belo Horizonte ahead of Brazil's World Cup semi-final against Germany.

The 22-year-old striker, who scored four goals in Brazil's journey to the semi-finals, was ruled out of the tournament after suffering a fractured vertebrae in the last eight win against Colombia.

Millions of people are expected to watch the match as two of the game's biggest powers go head to head for a place in Sunday's final.

Brazil fans wearing a Neymar masks inside the Estadio Mineirao. Credit: PA Wire
Brazil are hoping to keep their World Cup dreams alive. Credit: PA Wire
A Brazil fan poses with a replica World Cup trophy. Credit: PA Wire

For all the build-up to tonight's semi-final, visit ITV's World Cup site

Brit arrested in World Cup ticket probe is released

An English director of Fifa's hospitality partners - Match - who was arrested as part of an investigation into illegal World Cup ticket sales has been released without charge.

Ray Whelan, left, being arrested in Brazil on Monday.
Ray Whelan was arrested in Brazil on Monday. Credit: Reuters

Ray Whelan, previously an agent for Sir Bobby Charlton, was arrested yesterday at the Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro - the hotel used by Fifa officials during the World Cup.

He was detained for questioning after the earlier arrests of 11 people, including Algerian national Lamine Fofana.

Today police let him go but he is still not allowed to leave Brazil.

His lawyer Fernando Fernandes told reporters his arrest was "illegal and absurd".

Match said in a statement that it has complete confidence in Mr Whelan's innocence. "Match have complete faith that the facts will establish that he has not violated any laws," it said.

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Brit arrested in World Cup ticket touting probe

An English director of Fifa's hospitality partners Match has been arrested in Brazil as part of an investigation into illegal ticket sales.

Ray Whelan, previously an agent for Sir Bobby Charlton, was arrested at the Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro, the hotel reserved for senior executives of Fifa.

Ray Whelan from Match Hospitality was arrested in Rio de Janeiro.
Ray Whelan from Match Hospitality was arrested in Rio de Janeiro. Credit: RTV

The arrest came as part of Operation Jules Rimet - an investigation by Brazilian police into ticket touting - which has seen detectives tap phones, arrest 12 people and seize a number of tickets.

A spokesman for the Rio de Janeiro State Security Secretariat confirmed Whelan was in custody and would spend the night in a Rio police station.

Earlier, Match Hospitality announced it had blocked sales to four companies after tickets were seized from touts by Brazilian police.

Pele offers support for Neymar after World Cup injury

Pele is among many high-profile football stars including Ruud van Nistelrooy, and Gilberto Silva who have sent their support to Neymar after the Brazil attacker's World Cup was ended by injury.

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.@neymarjr was raised in my @santosfc and it hurts our hearts to know that he can no longer defend Brazil in the World Cup.

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@neymarjr will be missed badly the rest off the tournament. Get well soon!

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Hope Neymar will be fine( concerns) Espero que fique tudo bem com Neymar( preocupante) http://t.co/qA4PQg1Wl4

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Fifa committee studies Zuniga challenge on Neymar

Fifa's disciplinary committee is to analyse the incident in yesterday's World Cup quarter-final which saw Brazil striker Neymar suffer a broken verterbrae.

Brazil's Neymar sustains a back injury during the quarter final match at the Estadio Castelao, Fortaleza. Credit: PA

Colombia defender Zuniga challenged the Brazil star from behind in the closing stages of the game causing a back injury, which has now ruled out the Barcelona forward out of the tournament.

FIFA head of media Delia Fischer said: "The disciplinary committee is analysing the matter. The spirit of fair play is very important and we want to avoid difficult things on the field of play."

Read: Brazil striker Neymar ruled out of World Cup

Crucial World Cup quarter-final matches loom large

Costa Rica coach Jorge Luis Pinto is worried Arjen Robben will try to give Holland an advantage by diving in Saturday night's World Cup quarter-final in Salvador at 9pm.

Mexican defender Hector Moreno (L) and Mexican defender Rafael Marquez (R) fight for the ball with Dutch striker Arjen Robben.

Earlier in the day at 5pm, Argentina will be hoping Lionel Messi is proves to be the difference, while Belgium coach Marc Wilmots has called on his players to make history to reach their first semi-finals since 1986

Read: Brazil striker Neymar ruled out of World Cup

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