Great Britain's men will begin their Olympic hockey campaign against Argentina. The high-profile opener will come just weeks after a controversial advert showing Argentina's former captain training on the steps of a British war memorial in the Falklands was condemned by the International Olympic Committee.
Britain, ranked fourth in the world, have also been drawn in Pool A with Australia, the world's No 1 side, Spain, Pakistan and South Africa, but it is the opening game that will draw most attention. It will be played under floodlights on 30 July, the first Monday of the Games.
Earlier this month an advert featuring Fernando Zylberberg showed the defender running past various landmarks around the Falkland Islands, including the memorial to islanders who died in the First World War. The tagline for the ad read "To compete on English soil, we train on Argentinian soil."
Argentina's Olympic Committee sought to distance itself from the ad, but it was "applauded" by Cristina Kirchner, the country's president. The IOC criticised its showing, saying in a statement: "The Games should not be a forum to raise political issues."
The two teams are already scheduled to play each other on Monday in Malaysia in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, with Argentina having left Zylberberg out of the squad for the seven-team tournament. The Argentina coach, Pablo Rossi, put the absence of Zylberberg, who has played at two previous Olympics and used to captain the side, down to "sporting reasons". Barring injury to another player, Zylberberg is now unlikely to feature in the squad for London.
Britain's men have realistic medal prospects and will be expected to beat Argentina, who are ranked No 9. Britain's women, who beat Argentina, the world champions, at the London test event earlier this month, have an even better chance – they are considered gold medal contenders and have been drawn with Netherlands, China, Korea, Japan and Belgium.
Hockey tickets are among those on offer from 11am today, when all those remaining for the Games go on general sale. While all athletics, swimming and cycling have sold out, there are £50 tickets on offer for Tom Daley's diving events.
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