Adidas stops sale of 'sexual' Brazil World Cup T-shirts

Adidas Brazil World Cup football Brazuca Adidas is one of the main sponsors of the World Cup and also its ball providers

Sports giant Adidas is suspending the sale of World Cup T-shirts after Brazil's authorities complained they sexualised the country's image.

One read "Looking to score?" next to a scantily-dressed woman; another printed a heart shaped like a bikini-clad bottom with the phrase "I love Brazil".

Brazil's tourism board, Embratur, says it is vehemently against any products that link Brazil's image to sex appeal.

Adidas is one of the World Cup's main sponsors and its ball provider.

Following the controversy, the company said it was withdrawing the T-shirts - a limited edition meant for sale in the United States.

"Adidas always pays close attention to the opinion of its consumers and partners," its statement read.

'Sex appeal'

"Therefore, it is announcing that these products will not be sold anymore."

Earlier on Tuesday, the country's tourism ministry had already criticised the products saying "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," it said.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff also reacted, tweeting that Brazil was happy to greet tourists for the World Cup.

But her country was also ready to fight sexual tourism, Mrs Rousseff wrote.

In a statement, Brazil's Embratur said that "Brazil does not tolerate this type of crime on its territory."

Brazil says it has been trying to distance itself from the sexual stereotypes that marked the country for decades.

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