Football's international governing body and its president
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
Whelan, a brother-in-law of MATCH founders
Rights to the
"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
Asked Tuesday if Whelan's accreditation would be revoked, FIFA spokeswoman
"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.
Whelan, who is based in MATCH's Rio office, will not be allowed to leave
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
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
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
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.
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