The governing body of Dutch football, KNVB, has confirmed that it has officially blocked FC Emmen’s shirt sponsorship deal with sex toy company EasyToys, calling the planned partnership “inappropriate.”

Emmen took to the field for the opening game of the Dutch league season without shirt sponsors on their kit, but despite brokering a deal with a willing partner, the Dutch football league has vetoed their shirt sponsorship arrangement.

“It is not appropriate to display sponsorship from the sex industry on match kit,” said a statement from the association, which stated that the relationship with the sex toy company was in violation of their regulations.

“We must take into account that football is for both young and old.”

Reacting to the rejection, FC Emmen issued a statement saying that the club was “surprised and upset” at the league’s decision.

“We will study the KNVB’s arguments and consider what to do next,” they said on their official club website.

“In any case, we do not intend to drop a party that wants to become the main sponsor.”

EasyToys were also disappointed with the news, as they explained that they felt the marriage of football and sex was a natural one.

“For us, the collaboration was logical,” said EasyToys CEO Eric Idema.

“We hoped that more positive attention for our webshop would contribute to breaking the taboo that still rests around our industry. The fact that eroticism and sexuality are still uncomfortable subjects for many is evident in the decision of the KNVB.”

EasyToys is already involved in sponsoring elements of Dutch football, with billboards on display at another Eredivisie club, FC Groningen.

However, the KNVB explained that while no permission is required from the league to run billboard advertising, it is mandatory for shirt sponsorship deals.