Olympic Soccer Screw Up: After Flag-Gate Comes Welshman-Gate

Olympic officials are now two for two when it comes to embarrasing episodes in the soccer

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Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images file

Joe Allen of Swansea City competes with Paul Scholes of Manchester United during the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford in Manchester, England on May 6, 2012.

Olympic officials are now two for two when it comes to embarrasing episodes in the soccer tournament.

The British men’s team is about to play its first game in 52 years against Senegal at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester on Thursday. But the official programme has listed the Welshman Joe Allen as being English. The 22-year-old is set to start in the game but might be ever so slightly put out by the error (to rub it in, his compatriots Ryan Giggs, Craig Bellamy, Aaron Ramsey and Neil Taylor have all been identified as Welsh).

It will be interesting to find out what the Football Association of Wales makes of it all, considering they’d urged their players to not play in the Games. And there’s no love loss between the two nations, which makes the mistake even more glaring. The two don’t get on at the best of times, and the dislike has extended into racist attitudes persisting on both sides.

But this latest gaffe comes hot on the heels of the South Korean flag being mistakenly placed next to North Korea’s female players on a video package before their match on Wednesday, which resulted in kick-off being delayed for more than an hour as the North Koreans walked off in protest.

MORE: The Olympics Have Begun, and It’s Ladies (Soccer) First

 
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