PtG Article 18.06.2010

Dutch ministry gives FIFA a dressing down

As Mirte Nieuwpoort and Barbara Castelein were ushered out of the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court yesterday, a diplomatic row was beginning to simmer between the Netherlands and South Africa.

It all has to do with an orange dress, a small purple logo, and a morning raid by a specialised SA Police Service unit. But it was enough for Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen to phone the South African ambassador in The Hague, Peter Goosen.

"He indicated to the ambassador that the charges and the arrest of these two women were disproportionate and not correct," said the spokesman for the Netherlands embassy.

Police spokesman Colonel Vishnu Naidoo said yesterday's arrests followed investigations into an alleged ambush marketing plot that saw 36 women attend the Denmark versus Netherlands match on Monday afternoon.

All wore bright-orange outfits known as Dutchy dresses - designed as a giveaway with Bavaria beer gift packs in Holland as part of a World Cup build-up marketing strategy.