Briton in World Cup ticket-scalping case flees

The British director of Fifa's official World Cup ticket agency is wanted by Brazilian police after he fled his hotel to avoid arrest.

Ray Whelan, a director with Match Services who was also a former agent of ex-Manchester United midfielder Sir Bobby Charlton, was caught on camera leaving the Copacabana Palace Hotel in a hurry an hour before police arrived to arrest him, according to news website G1.

Whelan was charged along with 11 other suspects for "crimes of reselling tickets and association with a view to committing an offence".

Investigator Fabio Barucke said: "He left through the service door. We saw him in (security) footage leaving in a hurry. He is considered a fugitive."

Whelan was arrested earlier this week for questioning before being granted preventive release on Tuesday.

Police filed charges against the 64-year-old on Wednesday, saying he had been involved with a multi-million dollar scalping network that went all the way back to the 2002 World Cup.

Despite the allegations, Match Services has come out in defence of Whelan, saying there was nothing illegal about his conversations with another chief suspect, Mohamadou Lamine Fofana.

Source: AFP

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