The car marque’s security breach stemmed from its build-up activity to the national side’s match against Ecuador last night (4 June), which saw it tweet behind-the-scenes content featuring the players. FIFA official team sheets always include the passport numbers of the players as well as their date of birth, although the former is not for publication.
In a statement the company said: “We realised we made a mistake immediately and the tweet was deleted from our account within a minute. We have apologised to the FA for any embarrassment caused.”
The Twitter gaffe could make the FA think twice about the level of access to the England team it grants commercial partners during the World Cup. Football chiefs had planned to give brands such as Vauxhall and Nike, who are not FIFA partners, unprecedented access to the squad in order to give them ownership of the tournament.
Vauxhall, like other World Cup advertisers, has shifted a significant portion of its media outlay to social media channels for the tournament. It has been tweaking its strategy around the England friendlies in recent weeks that have seen it blend a mix of behind-the-scenes content with players such as Gary Cahill and Daniel Sturridge with posts during the actual matches.