John McAreavey, whose wife Michaela was murdered on honeymoon in Mauritius, has said he feels “sick” after seeing a partnership between the country’s tourism authority and Liverpool Football Club.
Mrs McAreavey, daughter of Tyrone GAA manager Mickey Harte, was killed at a luxury resort on the Indian Ocean island in January 2011.
Two hotel workers, Avinash Treebhoowoon and Sandip Moneea, were arrested in connection with the death of Mrs McAreavey (27), who was found strangled in the bath of her hotel suite after returning alone to her room after lunch.
Both men were acquitted.
Last night, Mr McAreavey posted on Twitter that the newly announced partnership between Premier League champions Liverpool and Mauritius’ tourism authorities was “really disappointing”.
Tagging Liverpool and the Prime Minister of the country, Pravind Jugnauth, in his post, Mr McAreavey said that Mr Jugnauth and Mauritius cannot guarantee the safety of tourists and that it has “complete disregard” for victims of murder.
He added: “I have huge respect for Liverpool Football Club 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.”
Mr McArevey was referring to the Hillsborough disaster in 1989 when 96 Liverpool fans were crushed to death during the club’s FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough Stadium.
It is understood that Mr McAreavey will be writing an official letter to Liverpool to express his concerns and will also contact the families of some those who pursued justice for their loved ones who died in Hillsborough, asking for their support.
Liverpool announced on its website on Monday that it had launched a global partnership with the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority and the Economic Development Board Mauritius.
The three-year deal will see the country become the club’s official tourism and economic development partner as it will benefit from a range of LFC digital, social media and marketing assets.
Prime Minister Jugnauth and Billy Hogan, managing director and chief commercial officer at Liverpool, were also pictured holding a club shirt with ‘MAURITIUS 20’ printed on the back in front of the Kop stand at Anfield.
Within the website’s article, Mr Hogan stated: “This is an exciting partnership and we’re delighted to build on our existing relationship with Mauritius following the opening of the LFC International Academy on the island in July 2019.
“We have a large, passionate fan base in Mauritius, and we’re pleased to be able to bring our supporters closer to the club through this partnership.
“We look forward to working with Mauritius Tourism and its Economic Development Board to support their ambition to further establish the country as a leading tourist destination and economic forum.”
Prime Minister Jugnauth added: “Mauritius is proud to be an official partner of Liverpool Football Club, a global football elite and Premier League champions.
“We both share common values of dedication, determination and unity. This collaboration aims at strengthening and propelling Mauritius as a thriving economic powerhouse and a world-class tourism destination.”
Liverpool FC have been contacted for a response to Mr McAreavey’s concerns.