Fifa's office tells KickOff.com that their lawyers contacted Kulula drawing attention to the fact that the advert breaches SA law against ambush marketing (s.15A Merchandise Marks Act) by seeking to gain a promotional benefit for the Kulula brand by creating an unauthorised association with the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
"As soon as Kulula's legal team became aware, they immediately withdrew the advertisement and confirmed their compliance with Fifa's requests'.
The airline announced on networking site Twitter: "Oh dear, letter from Fifa's lawyers says we broke their trademark of the use of 'South Africa' and think our non-WC ad was about soccer...
"Even the use of our national flag was an issue. It's absolutely outrageous. We've signed over our country, its symbols and our economy to one Sepp Blatter. Nasty."
The airline, however, said officially that it was 'surprised' to receive a letter from the world football body demanding it withdraw the adverts.
"They said we cannot depict the Cape Town stadium, we can't use soccer balls, or the word 'South Africa", and the depiction of the national flag is not allowed," marketing manager Nadine Damen is reported as saying in The Star newspaper today.
"We can't make any reference to the World Cup. They also told us we cannot use the vuvuzela, which, in our view, is representative of the people of South Africa and their love of football."