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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 January 2008, 13:39 GMT
Spanish anthem lyric falls flat
Spanish gold medallists, Iker Martinez and Xavier Fernandez
Humming the anthem... Spanish victors at the Athens Olympics
Less than a week after proposing a lyric for the national anthem, the Spanish Olympic Committee has withdrawn them because of a "lack of consensus".

Committee president, Alejandro Blanco, said the lyric, which began with "Viva Espana", had aroused "controversy and in some cases, rejection".

There had been concern that the phrase harked back to General Franco's era.

The lyric used during his dictatorship were dropped in 1975 because of their associations with his regime.

Expert panel

The four new verses were selected from 7,000 entries by a panel of six experts including a musicologist, a historian, a composer and an athlete.

Their task was to come up with up-to-date words for a royal march that was first played in 1770 during the reign of King Carlos III.

The winner of the competition was Paulino Cubero, an unemployed man from La Mancha.

Another of the verses included the words "Ama a la patria" (love the fatherland) which was criticised as reflecting Franco's nationalism in the face of separatism in Catalonia and the Basque country.

Tenor Placido Domingo was to sing the new anthem at a gala event on 21 January but that has now been cancelled.

Mr Blanco said he accepted it was time to go back to the drawing board.



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