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World Cup executive Ray Whelan is a “fugitive” of Brazilian police

Jul 11, 2014, 5:21 PM EDT

Whelancops AP

Ray Whelan, executive at FIFA partner Match Services, is considered a fugitive thanks to his connection with the ticket scalping scheme that has blighted the World Cup.

According to Rio de Janeiro investigator Fabio Barucke, Whelan was taken into custody on Monday, but was released on Tuesday morning.

Police arrived at his Copacabana Beach hotel to re-arrest him Thursday, but he had left an hour before they arrived and is on the run.  Police stationed guards at the hotel (pictured).

According to Brazilian police, the Englishman is heavily involved in a World Cup ticket scheme that has ensnared Algerian Lamine Fofana who the police are also looking for.

Match Services is one of the largest FIFA ticket partners, selling hospitality packages to World Cup games. However, the worldwide event has seen a scalping ring rock the country, with 11 already arrested, including Fofana, and four companies stripped of their ticket rights.

“Raymond knew that Fofana was a scalper, he knew that he was going to resell those tickets on the black market,” Barucke told reporters in Rio.

Match has disputed those claims, releasing a statement saying:

“Far from helping to incriminate Mr Whelan, they secured a nationwide audience who clearly heard Mr Whelan conduct a discussion for the possible sale of an official hospitality product. The 24 hospitality packages were offered on cash basis, which is highly unusual but permitted under the various terms and conditions. It must be noted that Mr Whelan was not aware of the fact that Match Hospitality had internally blocked sales to Mr Fofana.”

Normally under Brazilian law, scalping is only punishable by a $225 fine, but Barucke has specifically asked a judge to see the group as a criminal conspiracy, which would carry a possible sentence of significant jail time.

  1. justafan2014 - Jul 11, 2014 at 7:38 PM

    Corruption and FIFA ? No way..

  2. sailbum7 - Jul 12, 2014 at 9:18 AM

    Good – I hope they catch him and he spends some time in a Brazilian prison for his actions. FIFA has become increasingly corrupt and is starting to resemble a criminal organization more than a world sports body. Between the bribes for votes on the selection of World Cup host cities to this latest ticket scalping fiasco, it is time to simply clean house and start over where FIFA is concerned. They also need to void the selection of Qatar as a World Cup host and have a revote with new board members. The selection of Qatar was not only riddled with bribery accusations, it is flat out stupid. If they think the weather issues were bad in some of the Brazilian cities for this World Cup just wait, players will likely refuse to take the field when the teperatures hit 110 degrees F in Qatar. The only way to host games there would be to have them all played at night, even then the temperatures would be high but at least they would not risk player fatalities. The best solution is a revote without the bribes and have a new host city selected – one that does not have 100+ F temperatures for an average high during the time the World Cup will take place.

  3. justafan2014 - Jul 12, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    Well said

  4. LOBmakeuDOA - Jul 14, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    Think about the fans in the stands, too…it’s already a humanitarian crisis from what I hear of indentured servitude being rampant, but how are fans supposed to stand in line and then sit through games in that kind of heat? People will die for sure!

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