Spain's Basketball Federation has published a good luck advert for their men's team, the world champions, in which they stand pulling at the sides of their eyes in a slit-eyed gesture.
There is no obvious intention to upset their Olympic hosts in Beijing, but the irresponsible picture is likely to cause controversy and could be interpreted so as to lead to accusations of racism.
Spanish sport has been mired in rows over racism in the last few years. In November 2004 black English footballers were subjected to relentless racial barracking from home supporters in a match in Spain. Before the World Cup there were calls for Luis Aragones, then Spain's football coach, to be sacked after he called Thierry Henry a "black [Swearing is not permitted at Clublakers. You must edit this post prior to submitting.]". And last year Lewis Hamilton suffered racist abuse during testing for the Spanish grand prix near Barcelona.
Spain play their first match in the Olympic basketball competition against Greece at 7.30am BST today.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2008/au ... basketball