Argentine NOC Statement On Controversial Ads

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has criticized Argentine state-run television’s broadcast of an ad linking the London Olympics to a dispute with Britain over the Falkland Islands. The ad shows men’s field hockey captain Fernando Zylberberg training for the London 2012 Games by running through the islands’ capital of Stanley, and in the background is a British pub and other national symbols. The ad says “to compete on English soil, we train on Argentine soil”.

Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, is one of six cities bidding to host the 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games. The host city will be chosen in July 2013.

Tuesday the Argentine National Olympic Committee issued a formal statement following the broadcast. Gerardo Werthein, President of the Argentine NOC said, “the Argentine National Committee is fully committed to the Olympic Charter and the best practices of the Olympic Movement. We strongly believe the Olympic Games are not a platform for politics and we have communicated this position to the International Olympic Committee.

“We, of course, defend an individual’s right to freedom of speech but this cannot interfere with the sporting performance of our team at the forthcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games in London.

“Indeed, the Argentine NOC has made clear that using the Olympic Games to make political gestures of any is not acceptable and we will conduct ourselves in the proper spirit of Olympism in all that we do in London and elsewhere”.