Limit FIFA's Influence on Netherlands World Cup

18 June 2010

Limit FIFA's Influence on Netherlands World Cup

Should the Netherlands and Belgium win the contest to host the World Cup of 2018 or 2022, no new laws should be introduced which would protect FIFA's commercial interests. SP Member of Parliament and spokeswoman for sport Renske Leijten wants a guarantee that Public Health and Sports Minister Ab Klink will take steps to ensure that there is no repeat of the 'Beer Babes riot'. Last week at Holland's World Cup game in South Africa a group of young women were ejected from the stadium after appearing in short orange dresses in an advertising stunt for Bavaria Beer. FIFA objected to the stunt, one of the World Cup's sponsors being a rival beer firm. A number of the women have since been arrested. "Six months in jail for wearing a mini-dress advertising the wrong beer is not something we can allow to happen in the Netherlands,” says Leijten.

Renske LeijtenLeijten is resisting any acceptance of the commercial demands which FIFA imposes on the organisation of a World Cup. "We are seeing now in South Africa that FIFA is blocking local initiatives in order to further the interests of major corporations. The Netherlands cannot organise a World Cup under these conditions," she says, adding that she finds FIFA's demands too far-reaching. "The host country is obliged by FIFA to ensure that for two kilometres around each event the only commercial activities to take place are those which they approve. This doesn't only apply to matches, but also training sessions, the draw, press conferences, and cultural and social activities. This means that only FIFA gains from the World Cup. Local initiatives and local hotels, restaurants and cafés are not allowed to profit from FIFA at the World Cup."

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