World Cup sponsor and official ball provider Adidas has agreed to stop selling two T-shirts after complaints from Brazil's tourism board about their sexual innuendos. The shirts — one of which features the words "Lookin' to score Brazil" next to a bikini clad woman (pictured above) and the other a variation on "I [heart] Brazil" in which the heart is apparently supposed to be an upside down rearend in a thong (pictured below) — were limited editions only available in the United States.
According to Reuters, the country's tourism board objected to the shirts because "they encourage sexual tourism" — a problem Brazil fears will worsen exponentially with hundreds of thousands of visitors in the country during the World Cup this summer.
The shirt designs touched a nerve in Brazil, where people often complain about foreign stereotypes of Brazilian sensuality. They also irked Brazil's government, which is campaigning aggressively to shed the country's reputation as a destination for sex tourism.
Tourism board Embratur said it contacted Adidas to ask the German multinational to pull the shirts from its stores.
"Embratur strongly repudiates the sale of products that link Brazil's image to sexual appeal," it said in a statement.
Embratur also said that "Such an attitude indirectly contributes to committing crimes such as sexual child and adolescent exploitation."
Brazilan President Dilma Rousseff also addressed the matter on Twitter, where she said, "Brazil is happy to receive tourists for the World Cup, but it is also ready to combat sex tourism."
Though Adidas is the first FIFA affiliated company to run afoul of Brazil's desire to change its sexualized image in pop culture during the run up to the World Cup (and Olympics in 2016), it probably will not be the last.
- Sports & Recreation