Organizers of the soccer friendly between El Salvador and Argentina have apologized for playing the wrong national anthem for El Salvador, saying the gaffe was “an honest mistake.”
Hearing the strains of the wrong anthem appeared to confuse players as they stood awkwardly on the field Saturday and angered Salvadorans in the stands at FedEx Field. The Washington, D.C. area has one of the largest Salvadoran communities in the country and Salvadoran fans were expected to outnumber Argentinians at FedEx.
The error drew widespread attention on social media and put players on the spot. As they realized that they were hearing the anthem of another land, perhaps the Isle of Man, they dropped their hands from over their hearts.
CMN Sports said in a statement that it was apologizing to “La Selecta and the entire Salvadorian community that resides in and out of the Washington DC area and FedExField. The organization understands and regrets the unfortunate incident with the El Salvador national anthem at yesterday’s friendly match at FedExField. CMN SPORTS takes full responsibility for this honest mistake and values all feedback from loyal fans, the Salvadorian community and partners affected by this incident. This was not done with malicious intentions and the company will be sure to address this with the right parties to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
“As an organization, CMN SPORTS takes pride in providing some of the most exhilarating soccer matches for sports fans around the world. The company will take this as a learning experience and will continue to work on providing fans with positive experiences that are unforgettable. In addition, the company will extend immediately a direct apology to the Salvadorian national team.”