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Olympic advert stirs Falklands row

The Government has accused Argentina of being insensitive and disrespectful after it broadcast a television advert showing an Olympic hopeful training on a British war memorial in the Falklands.

In a highly-provocative move that ties the ongoing dispute over the islands with this summer's Games, the 90-second advert produced by the country's presidency says the athlete is preparing for London 2012 on "Argentine soil".

It shows Argentina hockey captain Fernando Zylberberg running in the Falklands capital Port Stanley and exercising on the island's Great War Memorial, which honours British sailors who died in the First World War.

The Foreign Office criticised the advert as an attempt to exploit and politicise the Games.

A FCO spokeswoman said: "We are saddened at this attempt by Argentina to exploit the Games. The Olympics is about sport and not politics. We are also dismayed at the insensitivity and disrespect demonstrated by the filmmakers in their use of a war memorial in the Falklands as a prop.

"The people of the Falklands are British and have chosen to be so. They remain free to chose their own futures both politically and economically and have a right to self-determination."

The spokeswoman added: "There are three parties to this debate, not just two as Argentina likes to pretend. The islanders just can't be written out of history."

The advert, which was reportedly broadcast on Wednesday, calls the islands by their Argentinian name, the Malvinas, and carries the tagline: "To compete on British soil, we train on Argentinian soil."

The clip ends with the words: "Homage to the fallen and the veterans of the Malvinas. Presidency of the Nation."

It comes following months of political bickering between London and Buenos Aires on the issue of the disputed South Atlantic islands.