Saturday, March 28, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

World Cup scalping scandal continues in Brazil

By
From page B2 | July 09, 2014 |

RIO DE JANEIRO — A World Cup ticket scalping case has revived a reputation FIFA tries hard to fight, and threatens to stain a tournament which has been better than critics expected.

Football’s international governing body and its president Sepp Blatter have tried to present a new face in recent years after so many allegations of vote-buying and top officials seeming entitled by seeking favors.

Though many rules and faces have changed at the game’s headquarters, a skeptical view that the old culture remains in the inner circle has been fueled by the arrest this week of a director from a longtime World Cup commercial partner.

Released from custody by Rio de Janeiro police early Tuesday, Ray Whelan returned to work within hours at the five-star hotel where Blatter stays and the MATCH group of companies operates during FIFA’s showpiece event.

The Copacabana Palace is also where police conducted parts of an undercover operation known as Jules Rimet — named after the former FIFA president who launched the World Cup in 1930.

Whelan, a brother-in-law of MATCH founders Jaime and Enrique Byrom, is suspected of providing tickets to a scalping ring dealing corporate hospitality packages at highly inflated prices. Reselling tickets for profit is illegal in Brazil.

Rights to the $600 million market in World Cup corporate tickets are owned by the MATCH Hospitality subsidiary. Its minority shareholders include a sports agency in Switzerland run by Philippe Blatter, a nephew of the FIFA president.

“MATCH have complete faith that the facts will establish that he (Whelan) has not violated any laws,” the company said.

The scalping probe is an embarrassment for FIFA and provoked awkward questions after weeks in which predicted street protests in 12 host cities didn’t materialize on mass scale.

FIFA has worked with the Byrom family from Mexico for more than 30 years and awarded contracts to the family’s companies since the 1994 World Cup in the United States.

Asked Tuesday if Whelan’s accreditation would be revoked, FIFA spokeswoman Delia Fischer said football officials couldn’t act before getting a full report from police.

“We need all the proof,” Fischer told a news briefing. “We want the matter solved quickly and investigated to its fullest extent.”

Whelan was arrested Monday in his luxury suite at the hotel where police said they confiscated 82 tickets for upcoming matches, along with his computer, cellphone and other unspecified documents.

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

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

Whelan, who is based in MATCH’s Rio office, will not be allowed to leave Brazil during the tournament. He was detained after the earlier arrests of 11 people, including Algerian national Mohamadou Lamine Fofana.

Police said Whelan was heard on wiretapped phone calls negotiating ticket prices with Fofana, a former player agent whose company is a MATCH Hospitality client.

The MATCH Hospitality subsidiary, which is based in Zurich, paid $120 million for exclusive rights to sell and market more than 400,000 corporate hospitality packages for this World Cup.

In 2011, FIFA extended MATCH Hospitality’s exclusive rights through the 2018 and 2022 World Cups without inviting rival bidders.

FIFA hailed that deal — which guaranteed $300 million plus a share of MATCH profits — as one which “further strengthens FIFA’s fight against ticket touts.”

Trying to distance Whelan from hospitality sales, FIFA and MATCH stressed that Whelan was a director of a subsidiary which has contracts to run accommodation, ticketing and IT services at this World Cup. MATCH Services will also organize hotels for FIFA, media and sponsors at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Separately Tuesday, Brazil’s federal police said on its website that an Italian and a French citizen, who jointly run a travel agency, were arrested at the international airport in Sao Paulo.

The statement said the two were carrying 48 tickets for the semifinal and final matches — tickets which belonged to “one of the big sponsors” of the World Cup.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Sheepdogs, handlers flock to Rio Vista for trials

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Fraisure Smith hearing delayed twice Friday

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1, 12 Comments | Gallery

Luncheon honors women for their work to help others

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Project begins to brighten downtown Fairfield

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3, 11 Comments | Gallery

 
 
Solano Rotary clubs honor top firefighters from across county

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Eatery to host event to support child with cancer

By Glen Faison | From Page: A3

 
Suisun police log: March 26, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Fairfield police log: March 26, 2016

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

 
Going home to mother

By Murray Bass | From Page: B10, 2 Comments

 
.

US / World

 
Jury says Silicon Valley firm did not discriminate

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
Public defender: San Francisco jail inmates forced to fight

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Gov. Brown signs $1 billion water plan for dry California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Feds: Baltimore jail illegally keeping juveniles in solitary

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Autopsies determine children found in freezer were slain

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Fetus debate looms following charges in womb-cutting case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

NY mayor: Someone may have ‘inappropriately’ tapped gas line

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Pugnacious Reid retiring, wants Schumer as Senate Dem leader

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Senate OKs Republican balanced-budget plan, following House

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Nelson set to return to role as Coach

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
‘Sopranos’ star’s apartment destroyed by blast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Pilot who scared passengers sues airline

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
‘Mad Men’ costumes, props head to Smithsonian

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

US economy showing signs of durability

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7, 1 Comment

 
Mexico City businesses cite losses during Bond filming

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Comedian Gardell hosts game show version of Monopoly

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
German airline could face ‘unlimited’ damages for Alps crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Co-pilot appeared healthy, but may have hidden illness

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
About 4,000 fishermen stranded on Indonesian islands

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

Warships move in key strait as airstrikes widen in Yemen

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
Iran says nuke talks focused despite Yemen crisis

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

At least 9 dead as militants attack hotel in Somali capital

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Amanda Knox murder conviction overturned by Italy high court

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Living

Books as decor: Versatile but meaningful design elements

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR1Comments are off for this post | Gallery

 
Today in History: March 28, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Community Calendar: March 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Horoscopes: March 28, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B6

My elderly mother is so stingy I’m finding excuses not to visit her

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B6

 
The newest fitness trend: Mixing it up

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

.

Entertainment

People: Zane Malik

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Larry David Broadway role handed to Jason Alexander

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

‘Stomp’ stopped by NYC blast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Mannequin museum show hits New York

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
‘Teen Mom’ star charged in picture posting case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

Notre Dame beats Stanford women 81-60, advances to Elite Eight

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Curry, Thompson lead Warriors in rout over Grizzlies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Evans helps desperate Pelicans end skid vs. Kings, 102-88

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Ranuado goes 6 for Rangers’ but A’s rally for 7-6 win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Area resident Jimmy Walker takes lead in Texas Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Logano wins Martinsville pole; Elliott to start 27th

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
A-Rod’s cousin pleads guilty in Florida steroids case

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Durant to have another surgery, miss rest of season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Chicago rooftop owner charged with trying to defraud Cubs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Gift returns: Sterling wife wants house, $1 million

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Shaq acknowledges regret about decision to leave Magic

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
NASCAR topic: Cheating with tire pressure, or just hot air?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Hot Rod Hundley, former NBA player and Jazz announcer, dies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
This date in sports history for March 28, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Helen Kalis

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Robert Roberts

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Carol A. Vose

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Janice Jewel Thompson

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

.

Home Seller 3/28/2015

Books as decor: Versatile but meaningful design elements

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR1Comments are off for this post | Gallery

Real estate transactions for March 28, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR2