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FIFA warns Argentina football leaders about Falklands’ conflict reference

Wednesday, February 15th 2012 - 00:24 UTC
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The main league has been named “Crucero General Belgrano” torpedoed in May 1982 The main league has been named “Crucero General Belgrano” torpedoed in May 1982

FIFA has asked Argentina's football leaders to explain reports that their league has been named after a naval ship sunk by British forces during the Falkland Islands conflict 30 years ago.

FIFA said on Tuesday that the Argentina Football Association could face sanctions if the top-tier division “was set to be named after Crucero General Belgrano”.

FIFA wrote last Friday to the AFA, whose president Julio Grondona is FIFA's senior vice president and second in rank behind Sepp Blatter on the world governing body's executive committee.

“FIFA has requested the AFA to provide further information on this matter, and reminded the AFA of Article 3 of the FIFA Statutes,” football's world governing body said in a statement.

The rule prohibits discrimination against countries for political reasons, and in the most severe cases is “punishable by suspension or expulsion”. Political statements on teams’ uniforms and equipment are also prohibited.

”A potential change of name of the Liga de Primera Division would clearly infringe (the statute),” FIFA said.

More than 300 Argentine servicemen died when the General Belgrano was torpedoed by a British submarine in 1982. Tensions between the two countries have increased in recent weeks with the approaching 30th anniversary in April of the conflict beginning.

The 80-year-old Grondona was the AFA's leader during the conflict and has not hidden his opposition to British sovereignty over the Islands.

When England competed to host the 2018 World Cup, Grondona joked with reporters that he would consider supporting its bid only if Britain handed over the Falklands. Russia won the bidding rights

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  • GreekYoghurt

    To be fair, it was better than their alternative name for the league, which was 'Ethnic Cleansing in Patagonia First Division'.

    Feb 15th, 2012 - 12:32 am 0
  • The Cestrian

    ...and so the worm starts to turn for Argentina. The British government must be pssing themselves with laughter over the pygmy politics of the Fascists in Buenos aires. So far we have:

    1. the president trying to amend the constituion so she can stay in power a bit longer,
    2. the press effectively being abolished as a free press
    3. politicans giving themselves 100% pay rises
    4. burning the Union flag in the streets like some sort of ignorant peasants
    5. embarrassing themselves at the Un
    6. ridiculously renaming their league after their illegal 1982 invasion of a peaceful and sovereignly owned island...and now being kicked fairly and squarely in the nuts by FIFA
    7. the IMF telling this tin pot dictatorship that it doesnt believe a word it says about its economic performance
    8. relying on sean Penn, hugo chavez and fidel Castro to back its ludicrous claims over the Falklands
    9. the Falklands war victims in argentina rioting in the streets
    10. the pension funds in the country being raided to the tune of £26b by the state
    11. multiple disputes with its neighbours over territorial claims, import tariffs etc.

    ...please add more.

    You can tell the shit state Argentina are in, as always, by how loud they shout about their illegitimate and colonial claim for the Falklands and from what we can tell things must be pretty desperate right now.

    surely you Argentines have had enough of this clown of a government?

    the Argentina government are political pygmies. their transparency is completely laughable.

    Feb 15th, 2012 - 12:39 am 0
  • BenC30

    Football and Politics so not mix! But when Argentinian brainwashing is involved, they do like to make an effort.

    Feb 15th, 2012 - 12:39 am 0
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