Olympic organisers were forced into a second embarrassing apology in 24 hours on Thursday after describing Welsh midfielder Joe Allen as English in the official programme for Britains soccer match against Senegal at Old Trafford.
On Wednesday,London Games chiefs said sorry for displaying the South Korean flag on a video screen when North Koreas womens soccer team met Colombia in Glasgow and another apology followed before Thursdays match kicked off. North Koreas players had walked off the pitch in protest,before taking the field later. Allen,22,who plays for Welsh club Swansea City in the English Premier League,is a fluent Welsh speaker and is one of five Welshman selected in the 18-man squad.
Message spelt backwards
There were several incidents off the field that left organisers squeamish too. A shopping centre next to the Olympic Park had displayed incomprehensible welcome signs in a garbled attempt at Arabic in the latest cultural blunder when the eyes of the world are fixed on the British capital.
The council said signs that were supposed to say Welcome to London in Arabic were instead written backwards and did not have the letters joined up,leaving the message virtually indecipherable (LONDON became N O D N O L) . Chris Doyle of the Council for Advancing Arab-British Relations (Caabu) says the banner has taken a simple message and jumbled it up and separated the letters what you got was a load of gibberish.
It beggars belief they cannot even write welcome in Arabic. What will our Olympic guests be thinking? It is cringe-worthy, said Doyle on the organisations website.
Ukraine is Russia?
Earlier,Ukraine had asked London Olympics organisers to correct biographies of athletes published on the Games website that placed the competitors Ukrainian birthplaces in Russia,officials said today. We adressed the demand to organisers on Wednesday, Ukraine National Olympic Committee spokesperson Irina Golinko said.
The problem applies chiefly to athletes who are representing Russia but were born in the Soviet Union.