Football

Fugitive World Cup ticket-scalping suspect surrenders

The Briton at the heart of a Brazilian investigation into a World Cup ticket scalping network has turned himself in.

Brazilian police had been on a manhunt for Ray Whelan, the director of Fifa's official ticketing partner Match Services, after camera footage showed him fleeing the Copacabana Palace Hotel an hour before the authorities arrived to arrest him last week.

The 64-year-old is now in custody after he surrendered himself to examining magistrate Rosita Maria de Oliveira Netto.

According to Brazilian media, Whelan, who was with his lawyer Fernando Fernandes, had told police that he had been preparing documents for his defence.

Whelan, a former agent of Manchester United great Sir Bobby Charlton, had been arrested earlier for questioning after police intercepted calls between him and the alleged ticket scalping ringleader, Algerian Mohamadou Lamine Fofana, negotiating the sale of hospitality packages.

He faces up to four years' jail if found guilty of the illegal resale of tickets.

Match has defended Whelan, saying that his earlier detention was illegal and that his dealings with Fofana were legitimate, while "highly unusual".

Sources: PA Sport, AFP

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