The widower of a honeymooner murdered in Mauritius has said he is “sickened” by Liverpool FC’s commercial link-up with the Indian Ocean island.
John McAreavey has pursued a campaign for justice since his new bride Michaela was strangled in their hotel room in a luxury resort in January 2011.
He has accused Mauritian authorities of indifference and inaction on the case, claiming they are more interested in preserving the island’s reputation as a holiday destination than catching the killers.
I have huge respect for @LFC as a club, for everything they stand for and how they have pursued justice for their own people for so long. Seeing this makes me feel sick.— John McAreavey (@john_mcareavey) July 21, 2020
Mrs McAreavey, a 27-year-old teacher who was the only daughter of Tyrone football boss Mickey Harte, was murdered when she returned to the room alone and disturbed a burglary.
Two former hotel workers were acquitted after a high-profile trial on the holiday island in summer 2012.
On Monday, Liverpool unveiled Mauritius as its new official tourism and economic development partner.
The club has signed a three-year partnership with the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority and Economic Development Board Mauritius.
Liverpool said the deal formed part of Mauritius’s drive to become a “leading global tourist destination and business hub of Africa”.
We're pleased to announce @EDBMauritius as our new Official Tourism and Economic Development Partner 🔴— Liverpool FC (Premier League Champions 🏆) (@LFC) July 20, 2020
𝐼𝑚𝑎𝑔𝑒 𝑡𝑎𝑘𝑒𝑛 𝑝𝑟𝑖𝑜𝑟 𝑡𝑜 𝐶𝑂𝑉𝐼𝐷-19 𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑖𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑠.
The club said the partnership would see Mauritius benefit from a “range of LFC digital, social media and marketing assets”.
Mr McAreavey expressed his concern at the link-up on Twitter.
He said the club’s actions were “really disappointing”.
“Mauritius can’t guarantee tourists safety and have complete disregard for victims of murder,” he tweeted.
“I have huge respect for @LFC as a club, for everything they stand for and how they have pursued justice for their own people for so long. Seeing this makes me feel sick.”
The club has been approached for comment.