Olympic axe for hockey player in Falklands ad

May 10, 2012, 07:26 IST | Agencies

The Argentinian Olympic athlete who sparked outrage after he was shown in an ad doing step-ups on a British war memorial in the Falklands is set to miss the London Games

Hockey player Fernando Zylberberg has been quietly ditched from the team ahead of their final warm-up event in Malaysia, later this month.

His surprise exclusion comes after he received threats on social networking sites for starring in the Falklands ad.

Argentina was condemned around the world after it broadcast the insulting clip last week.

Dropped: Fernando Zylberberg is seen training on a World War I memorial in the widely criticised film. pics/afp

It ended with the slogan: “To compete on English soil we train on Argentine soil.”

Zylberberg has been left out of the 18-man squad for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in the Southeast Asian country.

And without an appearance at the tournament, which begins next week, he is almost certain to not make the cut for London.

His absence has been attributed to “sporting” reasons yet comes despite his wealth of Olympic experience.

He appeared in the games at Sydney in 2000 and Athens in 2004, and used to captain the national side.

The Argentine Olympic Committee had already distanced itself from the government video, stating, “We strongly believe the Olympic Games are not a platform for politics.”

Even the owners of the company that shot the film slammed the production.

Sir Martin Sorrell — boss at advertising giant WPP — said: “The ad is totally — and I mean totally — unacceptable.”

But brazen Argentinian president Cristina Kirchner defended the film, claiming it “reflects the feelings” of her nation and said that the “creativity should be recognised and applauded”.

The ad starring him, condemned as “tawdry and cowardly” is now expected to be dropped from Argentine TV screens.

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