Weeks ahead of the start of the football world championships in South Africa, a row appears to be brewing up involving football wife Sylvie van der Vaart, or rather her orange dress.
Sylvie – not just the wife of mid-fielder Rafael van der Vaart, but also a TV host and national celebrity – has agreed to lend her assistance to an ad campaign by Dutch beer brand Bavaria:
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The brewery has presented an orange dress – dubbed the DutchyDress – as the ‘must-have’ item for female fans attending this year’s World Cup. Bavaria says it’s "The first item of World Cup merchandise specifically designed for female supporters”. Unfortunately, at least for Bavaria, the Dutch football union KNVB has signed a sponsorship contract with competitor Heineken.
The populist newspaper De Telegraaf reports that the KNVB has announced Sylvie would not be welcome on the terraces wearing her orange dress. It would reportedly be ‘inappropriate’ if Sylvie were to generate publicity for Bavaria in her DutchyDress.
‘Take some doing’
Sylvie's husband Rafael reacted immediately by saying that “It would take some doing to keep Sylvie out of the stadium.” However, the KNVB has since said it is not considering banning the immensely popular football wife from any stadium.
During the 2006 World Cup in Germany, Bavaria generated a lot of publicity with another orange ‘article of clothing’. Back then it was the ‘Leeuwenhose’ (literally: lion pants, from the Dutch word for lion and the German word for pants), wide-fitting orange pants including a lion’s tail. It was banned form the German stadiums because US brewery Budweiser was the tournament’s main sponsor. The DutchyDress – a design by the Dutch company SuperTrash – in any case is far more elegant than the Leeuwenhose ever was.