Saturday 17 February 2018

Pundit linked to World Cup PR stunt sacked

Ian Parkes in Johannesburg

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".

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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