Sunday 11 December 2016

Pundit linked to World Cup PR stunt sacked

Ian Parkes in Johannesburg

Published 16/06/2010 | 05:00

SOCCER pundit Robbie Earle admitted last night he might have been "naive", after World Cup tickets allocated to him were found to have been used for "unauthorised purposes".

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ITV fired him yesterday after it emerged that a "substantial number" of tickets, which were for Earle's friends and family, had been passed on to a "third party".

Earle, an ITV pundit since 2002, said last night: "Call me naive but I didn't think I was doing anything wrong. I hope when people hear the full story they will see me in a different light."

The incident relates to claims that a group of 36 women at the Holland-Denmark match found to have tickets in their possession allocated to Earle were involved in a marketing stunt.

The group, all wearing orange mini-dresses, were ejected from the game when FIFA bosses accused them of wearing the outfits to promote a brand of beer which was not one of the official sponsors -- a practice known as "ambush marketing".

In a statement, ITV said: "Investigations indicated that a block of ITV tickets would appear to have been used for unauthorised purposes during the Holland v Denmark match.

"Further inquiries have revealed that a substantial number of tickets allocated to Robbie Earle for family and friends have been passed to a third party in breach of FIFA rules. As a result, Robbie Earle's contract with ITV has been terminated."

Irish Independent

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