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Widower of Michaela McAreavey calls on Liverpool FC to reconsider deal with Mauritian tourism authorities

On Monday, Liverpool FC unveiled Mauritius as its new official tourism and economic development partner

THE widower of Co Tyrone woman Michaela McAreavey has called on Liverpool Football Club to reconsider a deal it has struck with tourism authorities on the island where she was murdered.

John McAreavey said he was "sickened" by the three-year partnership the club has signed with officials on the Indian Ocean island.

For almost 10 years, Mr McAreavey has campaigned for justice after wife Michaela (27) 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.

Mrs McAreavey, the daughter of Tyrone GAA manager Mickey Harte, was murdered when she returned to the room alone and disturbed a burglary.

No-one has ever been convicted of the killing.

Two hotel workers were tried for Mrs McAreavey's murder, but found not guilty in 2012.

Authorities in Mauritius have insisted the case is still open and are determined to find those responsible.

On Monday, Liverpool FC unveiled Mauritius as its new official tourism and economic development partner.

John McAreavey, widower of murdered honeymooner Michaela McAreavey. Picture by Charles Chan/PA Wire

The club said the deal formed part of Mauritius's drive to become a "leading global tourist destination and business hub of Africa" and the partnership would see Mauritius benefit from a "range of LFC digital, social media and marketing assets".

But in a post on Twitter, Mr McAreavey said the club's actions were "really disappointing".

"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."

Mr McAreavey later said he would be writing to the club to voice his concerns about the authorities in Mauritius.

"I can understand how these partnerships come about, my problem is with how Mauritius market themselves and obviously want to encourage as many tourists as possible to their country without dealing with problems that can arise," he told the BBC.

"In my instance, nearly 10 years ago the worst thing ever happened and that's not to say that its going to reoccur.

He said that he had not got "justice" and outlined his issues with how the case had been handled.

"I think they need to be accountable for what has happened in the past before they enter into partnerships like this with Liverpool."

He said he wants to establish if the club are aware of what happened to his late wife, adding: "I think if Liverpool were to be aware of these things that maybe they would reconsider this partnership".

Mr McAreavey added: "Liverpool is known throughout the world not just for their football prowess, but for how they have campaigned for long and hard for their own injustices around the Hillsborough disaster.

"They are a club that seek out truth and justice and that is what I have been doing for nearly 10 years."

Liverpool FC had last night not responded to requests for a statement.

General view of the corner flag ahead of the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool..

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