By Daniel Etchells

Ray Whelan, chief executive of Match Hospitality, was bailed from Bangu prison in August but has only just received his passport ©Getty ImagesThe British chief executive of FIFA's World Cup marketing affiliate Match Hospitality, arrested at the World Cup in July, has returned home after being given back his passport by Brazilian authorities.

Ray Whelan, executive consultant of Match Services - a subsidiary of the company that provides tickets, hospitality and accommodation services for FIFA - was accused of selling VIP World Cup tickets at inflated prices.

Sources in Brazil indicate Whelan, who was bailed from Brazil's notorious Bangu prison in August, is allowed to stay in Britain for three months. 

Brazil does not have an extradition treaty with the UK, but Whelan, who owns a home in Brazil, has pledged he will return for court dates to clear his name.

Brazilian officials released taped recordings to a national television station purporting to show Whelan discussing expensive hospitality packages with a French-Algerian, Lamine Fofana, alleged to be the leader of the ticket touting ring.

But the accusations that he had more than 500 conversations with Fofana now appear to have been dramatically reduced to just five.

Both Whelan and Match insist he has done nothing wrong and that he was trying to resell packages that had been returned to Match at the last minute by a Brazilian hotel chain.

Ray Whelan handed himself into police on July 14 ©Getty ImagesRay Whelan handed himself into police on July 14 ©Getty Images

Appeal judge Marco Aurelio Mello freed Whelan from jail and allowed him to return to his home in Rio de Janeiro. 

"The Supreme Court has ruled that the arrest was illegal from the first moment," said Fernando Fernandes, Whelan's lawyer.

The next step, he said, would be to obtain access to the evidence which the prosecution apparently possesses but has yet to make public.

It now appears that the evidence the police claimed they had is not as compelling. 

Eleven other individuals have been arrested in the police probe and local reports said Whelan could face up to four years in jail if found to have been involved in the illegal resale of tickets or and related activities including money laundering.

But in an interview in the summer with insideworldfootball, executive chairman of Match, Jaime Byrom said Whelan's arrest was a result of a huge misunderstanding.

"It was perfectly normal for Ray to try and find another client on our behalf," said Byrom.

"Television viewers for some reason thought he was trying to sell a ticket whereas in fact he was trying to sell a package at the published price, all perfectly above board."

Police claimed the gang involved had been earning more than $400,000 (£260,000/€320,000) per game on tickets sold at up to 10 times their face value.

But Byrom says the company can vouch for every one of the 83 tickets Whelan was apparently in possession of when originally arrested.

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 Official at centre of FIFA World Cup ticket touting investigation released from Bangu Prison on bail