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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. 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.


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 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. 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.

Fifa grandee's son in World Cup ticket scandal

The son of a Fifa grandee has become embroiled in a World Cup ticket scandal.

Humberto Grondona, the son of Argentina's senior Fifa vice-president Julio Grondona, has admitted to selling on tickets to a friend contrary to the world governing body's regulations.

Julio Grondona, Argentina's senior Fifa vice-president. Credit: Maxi Failla/Press Association Images

The tickets were among those seized by Brazilian police as part of a ticket touting investigation which led to the arrests of 11 people.

Fifa's head of media Delia Fischer would not comment on the investigation, but said that if anyone was found to have breached regulations they would face disciplinary action.

Maradona blasts Fifa for drug-testing Costa Ricans

Diego Maradona has accused Fifa of targeting Costa Rica after seven of their players were subjected to drug tests following their famous 1-0 win over Italy.

Costa Rica's players celebrate after their 1-0 win against Italy. Credit: Reuters

Two players from each team are required to undergo tests following each match at the World Cup, but the governing body ordered five extra Costa Ricans to be tested after Friday's win which sealed their progress to the last 16.

"Why test seven players from Costa Rica and not seven from Italy?" Maradona, who was sent home from the 1994 World Cup after failing a drugs test, said.

"This is only happening because some people are annoyed Costa Rica, and not the big teams, are going through, and so the sponsors won't pay what they'd promised."

Costa Rica's manager Jorge Luis Pinto also reacted furiously, claiming his players were being punished for their constant running through games.


Fifa 'deeply saddened' by Nigeria bombing

The Fifa statement follows the killing of 13 people as they watched the Brazil v Mexico World Cup match in Damaturu, Nigeria:

We are deeply saddened by the tragic incident in Nigeria. Our sincere condolences for the families of the victims, and the friends. Fifa definitely condemns any form of violence.

– Delia Fischer, Fifa's Head of Media

Beckenbauer banned for Qatar investigation 'snub'

Franz Beckenbauer. Credit: Reuters

Former German footballing great Franz Beckenbauer was provisionally banned from football for not co-operating with ethics prosecutor Michael Garcia, the Associated Press have reported.

Beckenbauer was a voting member of FIFA's executive committee in December 2010 when it chose Qatar, and Russia as 2018 World Cup host.

More: British Fifa exec 'called for Beckenbauer to face sanction'

British Fifa exec 'called for Beckenbauer to face sanction'

A British representative on the Fifa Executive Committee, Jim Boyce, was the first person to call for Franz Beckenbauer to face sanctions, according to reports.

Associated Press sports reporter Rob Harris reports:

Beckenbauer 'banned' from all football for 90 days

German world-cup winning captain and coach Franz Beckenbauer has been banned for 90 days from "all football activity" by Fifa, according to Reuters.

Beckenbauer has been provisionally banned by football's governing body over a failure to "cooperate with an ethics committee investigation despite repeated requests" during the probe into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup Bids, Associated Press sports reported Rob Harris has reported.

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