Women Arrested in Brewer Advertising Scandal

* FIFA starts legal proceedings against beer company
* British TV pundit sacked for part in ambush stunt

Written by Mike Collett for Yahoo Sports

JOHANNESBURG, June 16 (Reuters) – Two Dutch women have been arrested and are due to appear in court in Johannesburg later on Wednesday, facing possible charges linked to a suspected ambush market campaign by brewer Bavaria at a World Cup tie.

“These women, who have been part of a larger group, are suspected to be involved in organized acts to conduct unlawful commercial activities during the Denmark Netherlands match on Monday,” South African police said in a statement on Wednesday.

The arrests come after FIFA questioned a group of 36 Dutch women who were watching the Netherlands play Denmark in Soccer City stadium on Monday in skimpy orange dresses.

The dresses produced by family-owned Dutch brewer Bavaria caught the eye of experts on the lookout for ambush marketing campaigns.

Anheuser Busch’s Budweiser is the official beer for the tournament and world soccer’s governing body fiercely protects its sponsors from brands which are not FIFA partners. FIFA has started legal proceedings against the Dutch brewer.

“FIFA has filed charges against the organizer of the ambush marketing stunt pulled between the Netherlands-Denmark match at Soccer City two days ago,” spokesman Nicolas Maingot said at FIFA’s daily news briefing.

Bavaria has clashed with FIFA before over supporters wearing its orange clothes to stadiums. Four years ago at the Germany World Cup scores of Dutch men watched the Netherlands play in a Stuttgart stadium in their underwear after stewards ordered them to remove orange lederhosen bearing the name of Bavaria.

Meanwhile, British TV pundit Robbie Earle has been sacked by ITV after tickets found in the women’s possession were traced back to the former Jamaica international.

In a statement on Tuesday ITV said: “Immediate investigations indicated that a block of ITV tickets would appear to have been used for unauthorized purposes during the Holland v Denmark match.

“Further inquiries 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.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: