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London 2012 Olympics: Let the gaffes begin

A fan makes his feelings plain on seeing the wrong flag on Hampden's big screens (PA)

A fan makes his feelings plain on seeing the wrong flag on Hampden's big screens (PA)

  • by RAY PHILP
 

WITH the opening ceremony of London 2012 nearly upon us, and the football tournament well under way, the Olympic Games are already dominating the headlines.

But with so many representatives flying in from vastly different cultures around the world, it’s not all been plain sailing for organisers, who have had to contend with a number of embarrassing blunders just days into the Games.

After yesterday’s North Korea flag mix-up at Hampden, we present a selection of some of the most high-profile mishaps seen at the Games so far.

Welsh midfielder Joe Allen listed as English

Organisers have been left fumbling for an explanation upon revelations that a Welsh member of Team GB has been listed as English on the official team programme.

Joe Allen, one of five Welshmen to be selected for Stuart Pearce’s Great Britain squad, is a fluent Welsh speaker and plies his trade with Premier League outfit Swansea City.

The mistake will do nothing to temper the concern of the Welsh FA, who, along with Scottish and Northern Irish counterparts, voiced their opposition to the formation of a Team GB.

Arab visitors get mixed messages from ‘welcome’

Organisers were forced to pull signage welcoming visitors in Arabic when it was emerged that the signs didn’t make any sense. At all.

Arabic speakers reported that the signs were not only written backwards, but that the spaces between the letters made them virtually impossible to decipher.

The signage was described as “comical” and “embarrassing” by native speakers, according to Chris Doyle, director of the Council for Arab-British Understanding.

Diving spectators get that sinking feeling

Spectators looking forward to seeing Tom Daley at the Olympic aquatic centre won’t actually see very much at all.

It was revealed yesterday that 600 ticketholders would be offered refunds after it emerged that divers would not be visible from certain parts of the stadium due to the roof’s sloping design.

Another Team GB fail

Great Britain’s women’s football team, with a side featuring two Scots, claimed victory over New Zealand in a narrow 1-0 win in Cardiff yesterday.

Shortly after the game, the British Olympic Association rushed out a press release to hail the side’s victory. The headline read: “England women on their way”.

 

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