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New Arrest in World Cup Ticket Scalping Probe

  • VOA News

This June 4, 2014 photo shows a $90 U.S. dollar FIFA ticket for the Spain vs. Chile World Cup game, bought by a fan on Stubhub.com for $775 U.S. dollars, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

This June 4, 2014 photo shows a $90 U.S. dollar FIFA ticket for the Spain vs. Chile World Cup game, bought by a fan on Stubhub.com for $775 U.S. dollars, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

A top official with a hospitality company involved with the World Cup has been arrested in Brazil in connection with an investigation into the illegal reselling of tickets to the tournament.

Ray Whelan, the director of Match Services, was detained Monday at the Copacabana Palace hotel in Rio de Janeiro Monday. Match Services' subsidiary company, Match Hospitality, provides hospitality services to corporate interests at the World Cup, including complimentary tickets to various matches.

Prosecutors said Whelan's name came up repeatedly in thousands of wiretapped telephone conversations that led to the arrest of 11 other people accused of taking part in the scheme. Lamine Fofana, the head of a U.S.-based sports marketing company, was among those arrested.

Police say the scalping ring had made up to $450,000 per game by re-selling the complimentary tickets.

Whelan is facing at least four years in prison if he his found guilty.

Philippe Blatter, the nephew of FIFA President Sepp Blatter, is president of a company that has a financial interest in Match Hospitality. There is no word that Phillippe is involved in the the illegal scheme.

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