BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - An Argentine TV station is lampooning U.S. presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s comments about illegal immigration from Latin America to promote next month’s regional Copa America soccer tournament in the United States.
“Our country is in serious trouble!” Trump says to ominous music in the commercial made by TyC Sports channel, which will broadcast the June 3-26 centenary tournament in the soccer-obsessed South American country.
“We are having people coming in through the border that are not people that we want,” the candidate adds, against images of Lionel Messi and other top Argentine players descending from a plane and fans massed in national blue-and-white colors.
The comments used in the advertisement are taken from Trump’s speeches. His campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the 71-second spot.
The billionaire real estate mogul has caused indignation south of the U.S. border with his views on immigration and promise to build a “great wall” along the Mexican border.
“They’re coming from South America,” Trump says in another clip from his speeches used by TyC, against a backdrop of Argentine stars from Sergio Aguero to Gonzalo Higuain pounding in goals against stumbling defenders.
“These are total killers,” Trump says as the spot shows a close-up of Messi looking mean on the field. “These are not the nice, sweet little people that you think. We have no protection.”
Argentina, which has not won the Copa America since 1993, is among the teams favored to win the tournament, as are Brazil and Chile.
“They’re unchecked, and then they’re being sent all over the United States,” Trump intones while the names of tournament host cities like Seattle and Houston flash on the screen.
At the end, the TyC ad shows a line of text, also in blue and white, that teasingly aligns itself with Trump: “It’s true. The best thing you can do is not let them in.”
This is the first year the tournament, referred to in English as the 2016 Centennial Copa America, will be hosted outside of South America. It also marks the 100th anniversary of the world’s oldest international soccer competition.
Former reality television star Trump won a commanding victory in Indiana’s Republican primary on Tuesday, forcing his main rival, Ted Cruz, to drop out of the race. The presidential election will be held in November.
The spot can be seen here
Additional reporting by Rex Gower; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne and Lisa Von Ahn