Argentine player in controversial ad left off team
The field hockey player involved in filming a controversial TV
ad linking the London Olympics to Argentina’s dispute with Britain
over the Falkland Islands has been left off the national team for
an upcoming tournament.
Team coach Pablo Lombi told Argentine newspaper Clarin on
Wednesday that only ”sporting reasons” were behind the exclusion
of 34-year-old Fernando Zylberberg from the team for a tournament
The absence makes it unlikely that Zylberberg will be included
in the team for the London Olympics.
Zylberberg played for Argentina in the 2000 and 2004
The ad, which first aired last week, shows Zylberberg training
for the games by running through the islands’ capital of Stanley.
In the background is a British pub and other national symbols. The
ad says: ”To compete on English soil, we train on Argentine
The International Olympic Committee denounced the ad last week,
saying the Olympics should ”not be a forum” for political
Gerardo Werthein, president of the Argentine Olympic Committee,
said in a statement that using the games as a platform for
”political gestures” was not acceptable but defended the right to
freedom of speech for his athletes.
Argentina President Cristina Fernandez and her government have
used the issue of the Falklands – known in Argentina as Las
Malvinas – to stir national pride and push Britain to hold talks
about the sovereignty of the South Atlantic islands.
Britain has said residents of the islands have overwhelmingly
said they want to remain British.