Argentina’s Olympic gaffe
Two weeks ago, Cristina Fernández saw fit to run this ad on TV,
Fernando Zylberberg, a member of the Argentine men’s hockey team running through the streets of the Falklands capital Port Stanley with the slogan “to compete on English soil, we train on Argentine soil.” The advert included scenes of Mr. Zylberberg training on the steps of the Island’s Great War Memorial, which commemorates British sailors who gave their lives fighting the Germans in 1914.
The Olympic Committee has no sense of humor:
The IOC said the 2012 Games should not be a forum to raise political issues.
It added that it “regrets any attempts to use the spotlight of the games for that end.”
The IOC said it had contacted the Argentinian National Olympic Committee about the advert and received assurances that the games would not be used as a political platform.
“The Olympic Games should not be a forum to raise political issues and the IOC regrets any attempts to use the spotlight of the games for that end,” the IOC added.
And then, Zylberberg’s own team dropped him,
as The Telegraph revealed today, the hockey player featured in the Falklands-set propaganda piece is now likely to miss the London Olympics, after being “virtually ruled out after being excluded from the 18-man Argentine hockey squad taking part in a 10-day tournament in Malaysia from May 24.” His shameless use as a political pawn by the Kirchner administration is undoubtedly a key factor in the decision by Argentina’s own Olympic Committee to drop him, after they distanced themselves from the controversial advertisement.
Zylberberg will probably be offerred a job in Cristina’s bureaucracy.
In the meantime, the European Parliament passed a resolution condemning Argentina’s nationalisation of YPF and called for a partial suspension of tariffs that benefit exports from the South American country to the EU.