Football

Brazil cops nab Brit over illegal World Cup ticket sales

An Englishman who used to act as an agent for Sir Bobby Charlton has been arrested in Brazil over alleged illegal World Cup ticket sales.

Ray Whelan, a director at Swiss-based official World Cup ticket agency Match Services, was detained in Rio de Janeiro as part of Operation Jules Rimet, the codename for Brazil police's crackdown on ticket touting.

According to the Mail Online, Whelan, 64, is a former agent of the former Manchester United and England midfielder and has been accused of leading a network of illegal ticket scalpers after Brazilian authorities intercepted phones calls between him and Mohamadou Lamine Fofana.

Among 11 suspects arrested during a raid last week which also saw 131 tickets seized, French-Algerian Fofana was originally believed to be the ringleader of the syndicate before suspicions fell on Whelan.

It is a crime in Brazil to sell World Cup tickets for a profit.

Police estimated that the ring was making 1 million Brazilian reals (​$560,535) for each match by re-selling tickets purchased from Match on the black market, with the racketeers hoping to land US$16,000 ($19,891) per ticket for the final.

Sources: AFP, Reuters, Mail Online

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