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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.

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.

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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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Brazil team doctor: Neymar injured for 'a few weeks'

Brazil forward Neymar has been ruled out of the World Cup after fracturing his vertebrae in the closing stages of the 2-1 quarter-final win over Colombia on Friday, his team said.

Brazil team doctor: Neymar injured for 'a few weeks' Credit: PA

"It's not serious in the sense that it doesn't need surgery, but he'll need to immobilise it to recover," team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said after the player had been taken to hospital.

"Unfortunately, he's not going to be able to play," he said, adding he expected the recovery period to take at least a few weeks."

Read: Brazil striker Neymar ruled out of World Cup

Scolari: Neymar was 'hunted' during World Cup

Brazil manager Scolari claimed that striker Neymar has been "hunted" during the World Cup.

I think Neymar won't be able to play. Everyone knows he's going to be hunted, for three matches that has been happening.

We are in a situation which is very difficult for the match against Germany.

We are not very hopeful, if we are able to beat Germany it might be he can play in the final.

He has been sent to a private clinic for a serious of exams as he was kneed on his lower back and was crying out with pain.

I can guarantee it won't be easy for him to recover based on what the doctor told us and the pain he is in.

– Brazil manager Scolari

Read: Brazil striker Neymar ruled out of World Cup

Brazil beat Colombia to seal place in semi-finals

Thiago Silva scored Brazil's first goal early in the match. Credit: PA

Brazil sealed a hard-fought 2-1 win against Colombia in Fortaleza to book a place in the semi-finals of the World Cup.

Thiago Silva's tap-in and a spectacular David Luiz free-kick put Brazil 2-0 up before a James Rodriquez penalty ensure a nervy finale for the hosts.

But Luiz Felipe Scolari's side held on and will play Germany - who beat France 1-0 in the day's other quarter-final - in the last four.

More: Brazil scrape through in dramatic World Cup shoot-out

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