June 25, 2019

Coe warns against politicizing London Olympics

Argentina Britain Falklands

In this frame grab from a TV advertisement released by Argentine Presidential Office, an Argentine Olympic field hockey player Fernando Zylberberg exercises in front of the Globe Tavern in Stanley, Falkland Islands. Residents of the Falkland Islands are angry over a TV commercial secretly filmed in the islands by Argentina, which calls the archipelago the Islas Malvinas and claims it was stolen from them by Britain nearly 180 years ago. (AP Photo/Argentine Presidential Office)

LONDON (AP) — Sebastian Coe has warned against politicizing the London Olympics, a day after the International Olympic Committee criticized an Argentine TV ad that linked the games to Argentina’s dispute with Britain over the Falkland Islands.

Coe, who heads the local organizing committee, says the Olympics are not “a political gathering,” but a “celebration of sport.” The games are not about “one or two individual countries,” Coe told reporters on Saturday as thousands of sports fans were descending on the Olympic Park in east London for final test events before the games begin on July 27.

He said “this is about the spirit across the Olympic family.”

On Friday, the IOC denounced the ad, which reasserts Argentina’s claim to the islands.

It shows field hockey captain Fernando Zylberberg training for the games by running through the islands’ capital of Stanley. It says: “To compete on British soil, we train on Argentinian soil.”

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