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No charges against Dutch women after World Cup dress stunt

Charges against two Dutch women accused of an "ambush marketing" stunt at a World Cup match have been dropped.

The women walked free from Johannesburg Magistrates' Court after a settlement was reached.

Barbara Castelein, 29, and Mirthe Nieuwpoort, 30, faced charges under the Merchandise Marks Act and the Special Measures Regulations.

They were accused of the "unauthorised use of a trade mark at a protected event" and "entry into a designated area while in possession of a prohibited commercial object".

They were arrested on June 16 after a group of 36 women were ejected from Soccer City in Johannesburg at the match between Holland and Denmark two days before. The women appeared in outfits to promote a Dutch brand of beer, Bavaria, which is not one of the official sponsors.

Dutch foreign minister Maxime Verhagen said it was "outrageous" for the women to be arrested over the wearing of orange dresses.

But in a joint statement posted on the Fifa website, the tournament organisers and the beer company said: "Bavaria NV and Fifa have today reached a settlement agreement, which means that all parties have agreed to drop any claims and also not to make any further comments related to this matter.

"The Bavaria NV has agreed to fully respect the integrity of Fifa's commercial programme until the end of the year 2022."

The women said: "We are happy to go home and that the situation has been resolved."

Both parties declined to disclose any further details about the settlement. The women were forced to hand over their passports and post bail of 10,000 rand (£890) each following their arrests.

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