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World Cup hospitality executive released from jail in Brazil

Associated Press

RIO DE JANEIRO – A World Cup corporate hospitality executive suspected of involvement with a ticket-scalping ring was released from police custody early Tuesday and returned to work.

Ray Whelan, of the MATCH group of companies, was arrested Monday at the Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro, the hotel used by FIFA officials during the World Cup.

Police have described Whelan as the “facilitator” who allowed a large ring of scalpers to have access to tickets, which they resold at vastly inflated prices.

Reselling game tickets for profit is illegal in Brazil.

Whelan was arrested in his luxury suite where police said they confiscated 82 tickets for upcoming matches, along with Whelan’s computer, cellphone and other unspecified documents

His attorney, Fernando Fernandes, said his arrest was “illegal and absurd.”

Whelan will not be allowed to leave Brazil during the tournament.

Asked if Whelan’s accreditation for the World Cup would be revoked, FIFA spokeswoman Delia Fischer said the sport’s international governing body couldn’t act until he had received the full report from police.

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