Britain’s ambassador to Chile has been forced to apologize after tweeting that Argentina’s men were all ‘gay’.
Jon Benjamin sent the comment to his 10,000 Twitter followers by accident, thinking he had sent his friend a direct message but in reality publishing the remarks on his main feed.
The tweet, written in Spanish, speaks about how he has bought a ticket for tonight’s World Cup qualifying match between Chile and Argentina in Santiago.
To make matters worse the 49-year-old British Ambassador also makes a jibe about UK territory, the Falkland Islands, which Argentina has long disputed belong to them.
‘What were the islands that they took, from whom and for what reason? Maybe I’ll get to know at the National Stadium this Tuesday? I’ve already got my ticket,’ he posted on the social network.
The Evening Standard reports that ‘joke’ may refer to a popular Chilean football chant in which fans shout: ‘Argentinians, gays, they took the Falklands off you because you are cowards.’
Benjamin has sparked outrage among both Argentinians and Chileans, with many tweeting their disgust and even sending threats.
‘Football folklore is beautiful until people bring in issues stained with blood,’ posted one Twitter user.
‘This is an insult to all the Argentinians who lost their lives in the Mal-vinas [Falklands].’
Former telecommunications minister Pablo Bello, tweeted: ‘Your comments are in bad taste, ambassador. You don’t need to appeal to Chilean nationalist chauvinism to fulfil your diplomatic mission. Doing so reflects badly on you.’
The first time ambassador has now apologized for his actions and deleted the offensive tweet.
He said: ‘I’m sorry I offended with a private message that I published by mistake. I feel great affection for my Argentine friends and respect for their national side.’
A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: ‘Our ambassador to Chile appears to have inadvertently caused some controversy in a tweet. He has deleted it.’