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World Cup

Three people who might regret their World Cup tweets

World Cup

Three people who might regret their World Cup tweets

If you’re not a fan of football, you may be relieved to hear that we’re now halfway through the World Cup competition. After yesterday’s round of matches, we have now played 32 games (none of which have been goalless) and have another 32 to go.

If, on the other hand, the tournament has got you hooked, you’ve probably found yourself distracted from the action now and again by Twitter with its match hashtags, hashflags and mixture of witty banter and cutting-edge observation.

Many businesses are embracing the World Cup on social media too, including Iceland Foods, which is picking up from where it left off in Euro 2016 by aligning itself with the country that shares its name. This included a cheeky dig at Everton FC after their Icelandic star Gylfi Sigurdsson blazed a penalty over the bar against Nigeria.

While this is a creative and clever bit of fun that seems to have been a hit among Twitter users, others have sent out tweets they might just regret since the event began on June 14:

1. Alan Sugar

Business mogul Lord Sugar dropped a bit of a clanger with an ill-judged tweet he put out prior to Senegal’s opening match against Poland, seen by many as racist.

In a now deleted tweet, the head honcho of BBC’s The Apprentice tweeted a pre-match photo of the Senegalese team next to an array of sunglasses and handbags, comparing them to those selling items on the “beach in Marbella”.

Sugar initially said he didn’t see what could be racist about his tweet, but agreed to remove it and later apologised for his “misjudged” attempt at humour.

His apology has not been accepted by everyone though, not least those in Senegal. Ndongo Ndiaye, an advisor to the president in the West African country, has called for Lord Sugar to be sacked.

2. Landon Donovan

Along with Italy and the Netherlands, one of the biggest surprises among the teams that failed to qualify for this year’s World Cup was the USA. So given the levels of disappointment among soccer fans in the nation, it might have been wise for their players not to have accepted a deal with Wells Fargo to pose declaring their support for their “other team” at the competition.


Whether this was just done to make a quick dollar or there was a political undertone to it, American winger Landon Donovan, formerly of Everton and Bayer Leverkusen, certainly built a wall of negative Twitter feedback for his behaviour.

3. Rachel Riley

Countdown co-host Rachel Riley humorously tweeted an image of herself last week that she insists is doctored, but it didn’t stop a large number of slightly creepy Twitter users responding to it at face value and trying to persuade the mathematics brainbox to make it a reality.

The supposed vow is reminiscent of those of BBC pundit Gary Lineker (who made good on his pledge to introduce Match of the Day in his underwear if Leicester City won the Premier League in 2016) and snooker player Mark Williams (who showed up to the post-event conference of this year’s World Championship with no clothes on after rubbishing his chances of winning it).

Whether it inspired the England team to their 6-1 win over Panama yesterday is unknown.

With the tournament continuing until July 15, these three culprits will surely not be the last celebrities to tweet themselves into trouble.

John Murray

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