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World Cup demonstrations broken up with teargas

Hours before the World Cup final kicked off, police in Rio de Janeiro fired teargas and pepper spray at demonstrators near the Maracana stadium.

The protest against the lavish spending on the tournament began peacefully. Demonstrators held banners saying "Fifa go home."

As more people joined the protest, officers in riot gear moved in, firing tear gas and using pepper spray to disperse them.

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Police search for Brit arrested in touting probe

Brazilian police claim a British man arrested as part of an investigation into World Cup ticket touting has fled officers coming to re-arrest him at his Rio hotel.

Ray Whelan is alleged to have been involved in selling on tickets to games at hugely inflated prices.

Read: Brit arrested in World Cup ticket touting probe

However his legal team reject the accusations and his company, MATCH, say he will be cleared.

They have also issued a statement rejecting police claims that Whelan is a "fugitive".

ITV News Brazil Correspondent Nick Ravenscroft reports from Rio de Janeiro.

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.

Brazilian police release CCTV of 'fugitive' Ray Whelan

Brazilian police have released CCTV of Ray Whelan, a British national they say is "now considered a fugitive".

Whelan, who was arrested as part of a World Cup ticketing investigation earlier this week, is seen in the footage at the Copacabana Palace hotel in Rio de Janeiro.

Police say they arrived with an arrest warrant to take Whelan back into custody but they could not find him at the hotel.

Read: Brit arrested in World Cup ticket touting probe

The footage shows Whelan, wearing a light blue shirt, walking through a security gate accompanied by his lawyer before sitting down at an exit.

Previously Whelan's lawyer described his client's arrest as "illegal and absurd".

Neymar claims challenge could have paralysed him

Brazilian striker Neymar tearfully claimed to reporters he could have been paralysed after his World Cup injury.

An emotional Neymar broke down as he spoke of Colombian Juan Zuniga's challenge, saying, "If it had been another two centimetres I could be in a wheelchair today."

Brazilian striker Neymar cries during a press conference as he discusses his injury. Credit: REUTERS/Marcelo Regua

"The challenge and what happened was unacceptable. I'm not going to say it was vicious and there was malice or intent because I can't speak for him but everybody who understands football, everybody, knows that was not a normal challenge," he said.

"I feel was blessed because it wasn't more serious," the footballer added.

Neymar revealed he will be supporting Argentina in Sunday's World Cup final against Germany.

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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.

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

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