Wimbledon and Port Vale legend Robbie Earle seemed like an un-besmirchable kind of chap: he supports numerous charities, he was rarely aggressive in his playing days and he possesses a smile that makes your granny think he's a 'nice young man.' Hence, it is with great surprise that the ITV pundit has today become a former ITV pundit, after being discovered to have broken FIFA rules by giving his World Cup ticket allocation. A statement on the ITV website reads:
Immediate investigations indicated that a block of ITV tickets would appear to have been used for unauthorised purposes during the Holland v Denmark match.
Further enquiries 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 with immediate effect.
The former Jamaica international - who scored the first World Cup goal in his country's history in 1998 - stands accused of passing on around 100 tickets, which raises the immediate question: how the heck did a single TV pundit get an allocation of 100 tickets? If the allocations for all the world's media were that generous, surely most of the stadiums in South Africa would be filled with the bemused friends and family of former professional footballers.
Robbie would have gotten away with his anti-FIFA profiteering if it weren't for the pesky attractive dutch girls in the picture above. They were ejected from the Netherlands vs. Denmark game as they were correctly suspected of being part of an "ambush marketing" campaign - i.e. they were wearing dresses that were publicized and sponsored by a brewery. (Incidentally they're the same dresses and brewery that WAG Sylvie van der Vaart promoted recently, and would have been wearing at the tournament had she not been put off attending by terrorists.) The cynical marketing exploit was discovered, and under interrogation it transpired that all 36 of their matchday tickets came from Earle.
Unfortunately, BBC pundit Emmanuel Adebayor has not been found guilty of selling tickets, which means he has been able to keep his job.
UPDATE: Two of the Dutch women have been arrested and are due to appear in a Johannesburg court Wednesday. Free the Orange Mini-Dress Two!
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- Robbie Earle