Pepsi served to Cup volunteers 'a mistake'

The handing out of Pepsi to World Cup volunteers in Durban instead of official sponsor Coca-Cola's product was a "delivery error", a city spokesperson said.

"The incidence whereby an inappropriate drink brand was served to volunteers at the Fifa fan fest was a delivery error from our suppliers and there was nothing sinister or deliberate about it," said city spokesperson Thabo Mofokeng on Thursday.

Earlier this week, many of the city's cup volunteers had their bags searched and the Pepsi cans in their free lunch packs were confiscated and thrown into rubbish bins at the Durban beach Fifa fan fest.

This was after, Coca-Cola, the only soft drink brand allowed within the area, was informed that more than 500 volunteers were served with its rival drink, Pepsi.

The 500ml Pepsi cans were distributed by city officials from their temporary offices at Blue Waters Hotel.

"We were shocked when our bags were searched and our drinks thrown into rubbish bins. It was very embarrassing because it was done in full view of many people. Some people were angry and refused to be searched," said one volunteer.

She said Pepsi had been served for days before they were stopped.

Mofokeng said he had been informed by the Ronell Mitchell of the city's procurement and infrastructure special projects that Pepsi cans landed in their offices by a mistake.

Mofokeng said the distribution of Pepsi cans was stopped immediately after they were alerted to the problem.

"We are well aware that Coca-Cola is the only brand allowed within the area, and what happened was a delivery mistake," he said.

The city said the drinks were not donated.

Fifa recently accused Dutch brewery Bavaria of ambush marketing after a group of more than 30 women, all dressed in the same orange mini-skirts, attended a Soccer World Cup match at Soccer City in Johannesburg between The Netherlands and Denmark on June 14.

The minis were handed out in Bavaria gift packs in Holland ahead of the World Cup.

The women were taken in for questioning and eventually two of them, whom Fifa accused of being the organisers of the campaign, were arrested and later released. - Sapa


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