Iran could pull out of London 2012 over ‘racist’ logo
Last updated at 10:10 AM on 1st March 2011
Nobody was ever too taken with the jagged design of the London 2012 logo. But not even the most one-eyed critic had thought it spelled the word ‘Zion’.
That, though, was the accusation made yesterday by Iran’s Olympic Committee, who threatened to boycott next year’s Games in protest at the supposed use of the biblical term for Israel’s capital, Jerusalem.
The Iranians sent a letter to IOC president Jacques Rogge saying: ‘(This is) definitely spawned out of some people’s racist spirit. The use of the word Zion is a very revolting act.
‘There is no doubt that negligence of the issue from your side may affect the presence of some countries in the games, especially Iran which abides by commitment to the values and principles.’
Complaint: This is the logo that the Iranians are unhappy about
Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who believes in the destruction of Israel and has questioned the historical accuracy of Holocaust accounts, was quoted by his country’s official IRNA news agency as urging other Muslim states to oppose the ‘racist’ logo.
The IOC dismissed the complaints, saying: ‘The London 2012 logo represents the figure 2012, nothing else.’
Lord Coe’s London Organising Committee said precisely the same, adding: ‘It was launched in 2007 following testing and consultation. We are surprised that this complaint has been made now.’
It is not the first time the logo (above) has attracted headlines. Animated footage promoting the design, which cost £400,000 to develop, caused epileptic seizures when it was launched. The film was re-edited.
The logo has also been disparaged as representing many things, including a sexual act and a swastika, but subliminal pro-Israeli propaganda has never been among the complaints over four years.