‘Fifa don’t have a monopoly over orange’

A group of 36 young Dutch fans in orange miniskirts were detained for several hours at Soccer City stadium for wearing outfits designed by a Dutch beer company, a media report said on Tuesday.

The dresses were sold with Bavaria Beer packs in The Netherlands in the run-up to the World Cup, but football governing body Fifa accused the young women of staging an ambush marketing campaign, the Star said.

“We were sitting near the front, making a lot of noise, and the cameras kept focusing on us,” Barbara Kastein told the paper.

“In the second half, about 40 stewards surrounded us and forced us to leave the stadium,” she said.

They were taken to a Fifa office where police quizzed them about the dresses and asked if they worked for Bavaria. More than three hours later, they were released and police said they would continue investigating, the paper said.

Fifa said the women were “used by a large Dutch brewery as an instrument for an ambush marketing campaign”, although the dresses had no branding on them.

“Fifa don’t have a monopoly over orange,” said Bavaria beer’s Peer Swinkels.

In Germany in 2006, fans were made to take off their Bavaria-branded lederhosen

Swinkels said at the time that supporters were forced to discard the lederhosen.

“Fans going into the stadium had to dump them in a big container. Fifa said that the supporters could get them back afterwards. But the container was full of rubbish so most people didn’t bother. I understand that Fifa wants to protect its sponsors. But this is very strange.”

Budweiser, an official sponsor, is the only beer company allowed to advertise within the stadiums. Fifa fiercely protects its marketing interests, which are a major cash spinner for the organisation. – AFP

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