x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

South Africa diary: Marketing women not detained, Fifa says

Fifa have denied reports they detained dozens of women for wearing orange mini-dresses at a World Cup match in an alleged ambush marketing scam by a Dutch brewery.

Netherlands fans dressed in the team's orange colours cheer during the match against Denmark, which their team won 2-0.
Netherlands fans dressed in the team's orange colours cheer during the match against Denmark, which their team won 2-0.

Fifa have denied reports they detained dozens of women for wearing orange mini-dresses at a World Cup match in an alleged ambush marketing scam by a Dutch brewery. Nicolas Maingot, a Fifa spokesman, said none of the women were arrested at the Netherlands-Denmark game in Johannesburg on Monday or detained for questioning. However, Maingot says Fifa officials did ask the women about "clear ambush marketing." Maingot said yesterday that Fifa was looking into "all available legal remedies" against the brewery. Fifa rules allow only official commercial partners to use the World Cup for advertising and promotion campaigns.

Asia's broadcasting union said yesterday it is providing North Korea with free live coverage of World Cup matches so that its citizens could enjoy the sport and get a feel for life outside their isolated communist nation. John Barton, the sport director of the Kuala Lumpur-based Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, said he signed a contract with Fifa before the tournament opened on Friday to broadcast the matches live into North Korea.

Denmark cancelled a training session because of rain at the team camp. The Danish Football Association said a two-day downpour soaked the training ground at Knysna. The players were supposed to practice outdoors yesterday morning but worked out in a gym instead.

Hundreds of stadium stewards were striking outside Johannesburg's Ellis Park yesterday ahead of the match between Brazil and North Korea to demand more pay. A 26-year-old man from Tembisa said more than 2,000 stewards were on strike. He said he had been offered 190 rand (Dh92) to work 10 hours. He said the stewards' pay has been going down since they started work on May 27. World Cup organisers have said that police will take over security if stewards follow colleagues in Cape Town and Durban by striking.

Police said a Japanese fan returning to his hotel in central Bloemfontein after his team won their match against Cameroon was robbed of a camera. Police spokesman Sam Makhele says no one was hurt in Monday's incident.

South Africa's immigration ministry says more than 450,000 foreign tourists have come for the World Cup so far. Malusi Gigaba, Deputy Home Affairs Minister, told reporters yesterday that 456,423 visitors who arrived between June 1 and 13 identified themselves as having come for the World Cup. "We are quite sure that this figure will continue increasing as the World Cup progresses," Gigaba said. Before the World Cup started, estimates of how many people would come had gone as high as half a million. The estimates had steadily dropped amid fears over the worldwide recession, the country's high crime rate and concerns South Africa would not be able to pull off such a high-profile event.

The National Health and Allied Workers Union said yesterday that state entities should pay back more than 10 million rand that they have spent on World Cup tickets. The workers' union said "our union finds it totally unacceptable that our townships are burning because of poor service delivery and millions go hungry everyday, yet the overpaid state bureaucrats are stealing the taxpayer's money to watch soccer."