FIFA's Shame, Ctd.

More details have emerged on Biergate, wherein FIFA has used the South African police and court system to enforce extremely strict bans against merchandizing. Two Dutch women have been charged with criminal violations for violating the Merchandise Marks Act. Their "crime" involved recruiting 34 blonde women in South Africa and dressing them in unmarked orange dresses--orange, of course, being the color of the Dutch team.

Yesterday two Dutch women who orchestrated the harmless 36-woman stunt at Soccer City were arrested in a raid on their hotel and dragged into a Johannesburg court where they were charged with breaches of the Merchandise Marks Act, and “Special Measures Regulations” introduced for the World Cup.

Staggeringly it seems the authorities here wanted to detain the women in jail, and only after intervention by their lawyers – and a call from the Dutch foreign minitry to South Africa’s ambassador in the Hague – were they granted bail.

Apparently the world can be divided into those who believe this is an actual violation and those who don't. Put me in Pete Brown's camp:
As the Bavaria spokesperson says, Fifa don't have a trade mark on the colour orange. This is an astonishing abuse of human rights - admittedly a trivial one in the context of South Africa's recent history, but still deeply disturbing, because it's all about protecting the commercial rights of a beer brand.
Brown calls for a boycott of A-B, which I'd happily join--except that I've been on a de facto boycott for about 20 years already.