Argentina In Falklands Olympic TV Advert Row

Argentina has politicised the London Olympics over its Falkland Islands' sovereignty claim by making a television advert of one of its athletes training there, on what it calls "Argentine soil".

President Cristina Fernandez Kirchner's government released the television advert linking the Games to its demand to rule the South Atlantic islands .

The 90-second commercial shows Olympic hopeful Fernando Zylberberg training in the Falklands.

The advert was filmed with a handheld camera and shows the 35-year-old Argentine hockey player training outside a typical pub, the Globe Tavern .

The footage also shows Zylberberg running past the offices of the local newspaper, the Penguin News , and an iconic red British telephone box.

Reportedly created by the US-based Young & Rubicam advertising agency , it was shot early in the morning and no islanders can be seen in the footage.

The glossy advert, filmed beneath rolling grey clouds, also uses rousing music for dramatic effect.

It finishes with the slogan, "To compete on English soil, we are training on Argentine soil".

It adds that it is a "tribute to the fallen and ex-combatants" of the 1982 Falklands War .

The advert was screened on several Argentine TV stations on Wednesday night to coincide with the the 30th anniversary of the torpedo attack on the cruiser General Belgrano by a British nuclear-powered submarine during the conflict.

"This is going to generate international repercussions," one official said.

Senator Anibal Fernandez tweeted: "Very good advert about the Malvinas and the Olympics", using the Argentine name for the archipelago.

The Argentine government did not say how the commercial was filmed or whether they had permission to shoot in the Falklands.

But the stunt may backfire as many Argentinians were highly critical of the advert.

One wrote on the website of newspaper La Nacion : "This advert seems to me to show a lack of respect for the soldiers who died in the Malvinas and what our claims to sovereignty mean. Will winning medals at the Olympics make us feel closer to the islands?

"It is a disgrace and a game aimed at submerging people in greater ignorance."

Another wrote: "A tribute to who? People on both sides died in this absurd war."

And another joked: "At least on the islands they won't steal his trainers and tracksuit at gunpoint!"

Zylberberg is a member of the men's hockey team and will be competing in his third Olympics after previously taking part in Sydney in 2000 and Athens in 2004.


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