Briton returns to face World Cup scalping charges

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) An executive of FIFA's hospitality and ticketing partner who was charged in an alleged World Cup ticket-scalping scheme has returned to Brazil to face a possible trial.

A statement Friday from Match Services said Ray Whelan had returned to Brazil from his native Britain this week and reported to judicial officials. Whelan denies the charges against him and is not being held in jail.

Whelan was arrested July 14, the day after Germany defeated Argentina in the World Cup final.

''Both Mr. Whelan and Match trust that the Brazilian justice system will in due course fully exonerate him from the charges made against him with respect to alleged ticket touting,'' Match spokesman Andreas Herren said in an email.

Brazilian police put wiretaps on Whelan's phone and recorded him speaking about selling tickets. The company has said Whelan tried to sell the tickets, including VIP packages, at official prices amounting to about $25,000.

Selling tickets at above face value is illegal in Brazil.

No trial date has been set.

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