Sports News Without Access, Favor, Or Discretion

It took a few weeks, but we've finally gotten a 2014 World Cup corruption story. Ray Whelan, the chief executive of Match Hospitality, a FIFA corporate partner that sells tickets and hospitality packages for the World Cup, was arrested on Monday as part of a Brazilian investigation into the illegal reselling of game tickets that were allocated to Match Hospitality by FIFA.

From the Independent:

The arrest came as part of Operation Jules Rimet, Brazil police's investigation into ticket touting which has seen detectives make 11 arrests last week and break up an international gang. That gang is accused of illegally reselling tickets, including some originally understood to have been originally allocated to players.

Police say the gang earned as much as $90m (£52m) per tournament and could have operated at four World Cups. The authorities believe some of the tickets were sold to foreign tourists.


There's no word yet on what role Whelan allegedly played in the scalping ring, but it's easy to imagine numerous ways in which a man who heads a company that bills itself as "the only company worldwide that is officially authorised by FIFA to offer and guarantee exclusive hospitality packages for every match of the FIFA World Cup™ directly or through its appointed sales agents" might be able to assist in a criminal endeavor such as this.


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