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Argentine Olympic Committee releases watered down statement on Malvinas spot

Tuesday, May 8th 2012 - 17:46 UTC
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Gerardo Werthein: using the games as a platform for “political gestures” is not acceptable but defends the right to freedom of speech for his athletes Gerardo Werthein: using the games as a platform for “political gestures” is not acceptable but defends the right to freedom of speech for his athletes

The Argentine Olympic Committee has responded for the first time to an advertisement on state-run TV that links a dispute with Britain about the Falklands/Malvinas Islands to the London Games.

Argentine Olympic committee president Gerardo Werthein said in a statement on Tuesday -that using the games as a platform for “political gestures” is not acceptable but defends the right to freedom of speech for his athletes.

“The Argentine National Olympic Committee is fully committed to the Olympic Charter and the best practices of the Olympic movement”, said Werthein,

The International Olympic Committee denounced the ad last week, saying the Olympics should “not be a forum” for political issues and “the IOC regrets any attempts to use the spotlight of the games for that end”.

“The IOC has always striven to separate sport from politics and honour the spirit of the games and all those who take part,” the IOC statement said.

The state-supported advertisement, that was branded by Britain as “tasteless and insulting” shows Argentine field-hockey captain Fernando Zylberberg training in the disputed Falklands.

Precisely the first reactions came from the Falklands’ elected government describing the advert as a piece of “cheap and disrespectful propaganda”

In her first public statement on the issue, Argentina President Cristina Fernández defended the ad on Monday and said “creativity cannot be censored” and applauded the piece.

CFK went further and described the advert as an excellent message made by an Argentine working for an English agency, which “comes to show that the English also need to come to us for creativity”

The ad first ran last week and is still being shown on state-run TV.

Last week the agency that created the advertisement condemned its own commercial. Advertising agency Young & Rubicam apologized for the ad created by its branch in Argentina, saying the spot was deeply offensive to people around the world and to the Olympic spirit.

“We strongly condemn this work and have asked the Argentine government to pull the spot,” it said in a statement Friday, adding that the ad's creators “behaved in a manner that is unacceptable” to the company.

The AOC president belongs to a very rich Argentine Jewish family with interests in finance, insurance, agriculture and communications and is known to have political aspirations. Among his merits for the post was the fact he financed the Argentine Olympic quarters in Beijing 2008.

Top Comments

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  • Tabutos

    almost sounds like an apology...... not

    May 08th, 2012 - 06:02 pm 0
  • tobias


    A strong statement would have been:

    “It was a very inappropriate advertisment and we reject it categorically and distance ourselves from the government of Argentina's official policy.”

    “Furthermore, as we try to distance Argentine sport and athletes from corruption and politicism, we want to be consistent and reject such values at the local and international level. Therefore, we have decided not to participate in the upcomming Summer Olympiad due to the politicism, corruption, and lack of transparency of the governing body of the event, the IOC, and the organizers who have yet to disclose how they won the bidding process. We hope for understanding in the matter and call on the IOC and the Argentine government to work on cleaning up their standards before Argentine athletes compete again”.

    May 08th, 2012 - 06:04 pm 0
  • The Cestrian


    An Argentine complaining about the lack of transparency. Youre a fucking cheeky bastard. Fuckoff.

    May 08th, 2012 - 06:07 pm 0
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