May 25, 2013
Newspaper : 'Argentina to disrupt Olympics'
A British Sunday newspaper yesterday said “the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has received intelligence Argentina may try to exploit the event to attract global attention to its campaign for sovereignty over the (Malvinas) islands” at the Olympics to be held between July 27 and August 12 in London.
The article, written by Isabel Oakeshott and Declan McGarvey for The Sunday Times, explained that “the Olympic Games could be used as a platform for a black power-style protest over the Malvinas Islands, the government fears” and stated that “ministers are worried about a possible demonstration by Argentine athletes similar to the one staged at the 1968 Games in Mexico City by African-American athletes at the men’s 200m medal ceremony.”
Regarding the diplomatic relations between Argentina and the UK , which are already “strained” in the 30th anniversary of the Malvinas War, the article confirmed “any symbolic gesture by team members would be broadcast worldwide, fuelling tensions” between both countries.
“Militant left-wing groups in Argentina are also claiming that hooligans plan to travel to London to demonstrate at one of the Games venues with a national flag emblazoned with an image of the Falklands,” it pointed out.
The newspaper said a senior FCO source was concerned “Argentina will use the Olympics as an opportunity for protests about the Falklands” and have been looking into what they can do as Argentina “seems determined to push their case at every opportunity.” FCO source added: “The athletes won’t be able to wear Malvinas T-shirts, but we can’t stop everything, particularly what goes on outside the stadium.”
“The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has strict rules about insignia on athletes’ uniforms and has assured the FCO that Argentine athletes could not wear political symbols. Argentina’s national Olympic committee has insisted it does not see the Games as a “platform for politics” and assured the IOC its team would not cause trouble,” the article continued.
“However, a senior source with a militant left-wing group in Argentina claimed members of Hinchadas Unidas Argentinas (HUA), another group of militants at one time linked to the Kirchner government, plan to travel to London to stage a protest. The Argentine government has always denied it has any links with HUA,” pointed out the newspaper.
Argentina has continued to claim sovereignty over the Malvinas during President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s administration, going so far as to present the topic in every forum where the country participates.
Earlier this year, Argentina featured a TV advert which showed a hockey player training on the Malvinas with the slogan: “To play on English soil, we train on Argentine soil.”
Herald with The Sunday Times