SPAIN’S Olympic Committee has backed down over proposed lyrics for the country’s wordless national anthem.
In a volte face, Olympic officials discarded the winning lyrics after deciding them the most apt from a contest that drew 7,000 entries.
Written by unemployed Paulino Cubero, 52, from Castilla-La Mancha, there were even plans for Spanish tenor Placido Domingo to premiere them on January 21.
“Once Spaniards heard them, they sparked a lot of controversy, even rejection,” the president of the Spanish Olympic Committee said.
Critics claim the lyrics, which began with “Viva España,” or “Long Live Spain,” harkened back to the right-wing dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, who led a military uprising in 1936 against the elected government, ruling Spain until his death in 1975.
Government officials had earlier voiced their dislike for the winning entry.