Match Hospitality CEO released from custody over Fifa World Cup ticket scam

Match Hospitality is the official hospitality provider for the 2014 Fifa World Cup
Match Hospitality is the official hospitality provider for the 2014 Fifa World Cup

Ray Whelan, chief executive of Match Hospitality, the official hospitality partner of the 2014 Fifa World Cup, has been released from custody, following his arrest over involvement in an alleged ticket scam at the football tournament.

Whelan was arrested on Monday (7 July) at Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana Palace, the official accommodation of Fifa president Sepp Blatter and other Fifa senior executives, and released yesterday.

A statement issued by Match Hospitality's media director, Andreas Herren, said: "Ray Whelan has been released from police custody and will assist the police with further enquiries. Match have complete faith that the facts will establish that he has not violated any laws.

"Match will continue to fully support all police investigations, which we firmly believe will fully exonerate Ray. In the meantime, Ray Whelan, as well as the rest of the Match personnel will continue to work on our operational areas of responsibility in order to deliver a successful 2014 Fifa World Cup Brazil." 

Zurich-based Match Hospitality is a division of Cheadle-based sports event management and consultancy Byrom. The hospitality provider is responsible for deluxe World Cup packages, including private suites and gournet catering experiences.

The alleged ticket scam centres on claims by the police that Whelan gave VIP tickets, originally reserved for sponsors, non-governmental organisations and relatives of players, to a suspected ringleader of an internatinal ticket touting ring, which were then sold on illegally.

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