FIFA partner CEO 'on the run' following illegal World Cup ticket allegations

A general view of the stadium during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil round of 16 match between Colombia and Uruguay at Maracana on June 28, 2014
© Getty Images
Match Services CEO Ray Whelan is reportedly being treated as a fugitive after absconding from his hotel.

The chief executive of a FIFA partner company arrested as part of a probe into illegal World Cup ticket sales has reportedly gone on the run.

Ray Whelan, who works for ticketing agency Match Services, was one of 11 people taken into custody last week, but was later released without charge.

However, the case has taken a new twist as Whelan is being treated as a fugitive after absconding from his hotel in Rio de Janeiro.

The Briton's passport is being withheld as the investigation remains ongoing, and he was due to be re-arrested at the Copacabana Palace hotel before he fled.

"He's now considered a fugitive," said investigating officer Fabio Barucke. "We have security camera images of him exiting the hotel through a service door."

Match Services deny any wrongdoing and Whelan previously pledged to cooperate with the investigation, stating that he is confident of being exonerated.

A general view of Brazuca and the FIFA World Cup Trophy at the Maracana before the adidas Brazuca launch on December 3, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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