Gloating after getting tickets to a high-profile sporting event is perfectly acceptable. Slandering the opposing team’s fans in the process, especially when you’re a diplomat, perhaps isn’t the wisest move.
Jon Benjamin, Britain’s ambassador to Chile, backtracked on a Twitter jibe towards Argentina over the Falklands War, a message he claimed was intended to be sent via direct message. He made reference to a Chilean soccer chant which uses homophobic slurs and describes Argentines as “cowards” for losing the conflict.
“Which islands did they take off who and for being what?” he asked in Spanish in his tweet, which he sent after obtaining tickets to Tuesday’s soccer World Cup qualifying game between Chile and Argentina. The tweet was later deleted.
Benjamin, who has been a diplomat for over 25 years, later apologized for his remarks, claiming the tweet should have been sent as a private communique. “I have much affection for my Argentine friends,” added Benjamin, a former envoy to Zimbabwe, Indonesia, and Pakistan.
"Our ambassador to Chile appears to have inadvertently caused some controversy in a tweet. He has deleted it," a spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said.
In the end, no one could accuse the Argentina team of cowardice. They won the game 2-1.
Photo via Jon Benjamin/Twitter