Adidas has agreed to stop selling two World Cup t-shirts after the Brazilian government complained they promoted a ‘sexualised’ image of the country.
One of the offending t-shirts contained a cartoon image of a woman in a bikini holding a football with the caption “Looking to score in Brazil?”
The other read simply “I love Brazil” with the heart crudely shaped to resemble a woman’s bottom.
Brazil’s tourist board complained to Adidas – one of the tournament’s main sponsors – that the t-shirts were overtly sexual and encourage sex tourism.
The ministry said “any links between national icons and images with sex appeal” were against the country’s official marketing policies.
“Such an attitude indirectly contributes to committing crimes such as sexual child and adolescent exploitation,” the ministry added.
Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff even weighed into the controversy, tweeting that while her country was happy to welcome tourists for the World Cup, her government would fight sex tourism.
Adidas has now agreed to discontinue the two t-shirts – which were limited editions for sale only in the US.
“Adidas always pays close attention to the opinion of its consumers and partners,” the company said in a statement read.
“Therefore, it is announcing that these products will not be sold anymore.”
The South American country faces huge problems with prostitution – and campaigners fear this year’s tournament will encourage organised gangs to swamp host cities with underage girls in a bid to entice wealthy visitors.