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Official in ticket scalping case gives up World Cup credential, employer says arrest illegal

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RIO DE JANEIRO - The director of a World Cup hospitality company implicated in ticket scalping has surrendered his tournament credentials.

The MATCH group, which owns rights to sell World Cup hospitality tickets, says Ray Whelan denies wrongdoing.

MATCH acknowledges Whelan and Algerian national Lamine Fofana discussed cash sales of World Cup final tickets in telephone calls wiretapped by Rio de Janeiro police.

MATCH challenged police to justify Whelan's "arbitrary and illegal" arrest.

Whelan was detained at a Rio hotel on Monday by police who seized tickets for World Cup matches. He was released early Tuesday.

MATCH "surmises" that 83 tickets Whelan had were for personal use by company management and shareholders.

Police suspect Whelan supplied Fofana's group that it says was re-selling World Cup tickets for a profit, which is illegal in Brazil.

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