Argentina is threatening a Falkland Islands team to play under the name Islas Malvinas or to pull out of an international competition, it has been claimed. Falkland Islands Badminton are vowing to not give in to bullies amid alleged tensions ahead of the Badminton Pan Am Male & Female Cup 2020, which is due to commence on Thursday.
According to team officials, Argentina is trying to exert pressure on the Falkland Islands' representatives to play as Islas Malvinas - the Spanish name for the Islands which Argentina claim sovereignty over.
It is claimed Argentina is also putting pressure on host country Brazil to cancel the entire tournament if the Falkland Islands team do not bow to the demands.
The Falkland Islands are due to field a team in the competition's Female Cup, which is due to run from Thursday to Sunday in Salvador, the capital of Brazilian
In a brief release the Argentine foreign ministry said, The Argentine government wishes to express its rejection and concern about the participation of the Falkland Islands team in the tournament, as a separate entity from the Argentine Republic and identified with an illegitimate flag.
This implies the presentation of the Falkland Islands to third parties as being an entity differentiated from the Argentine Republic.
Argentina aren't playing in the tournament.
Falkland Islands Badminton chairman Doug Clark said that during talks with the badminton federation he was told Argentina's government had applied political pressure on Brazil to have us kicked out of tournament, or to play with 'Malvinas' on the back of our shirts.
We said no, said Mr Clark, who revealed his team are very stressed and a bit anxious. He added, They are just here to play badminton.
A proposed plan for the Falkland Islands team to compete, but their results not to be counted, was also dismissed as discriminatory by Mr Clark.
He described how he had experienced a similar scenario when competing in Brazil in 2012, when officials from Argentina's embassy came down to venue and tried to have us kicked out.
In a post on their Facebook page, the Falklands Badminton wrote: We do not give in to bullies and that we will obviously NOT be withdrawing and we will NOT play as M**vinas.
Argentina are putting pressure on Brazil to pull the entire tournament if we do not give in to their demands. The draw for the tournament is due to take place tomorrow, Thursday.
Their stance appeared to have won the backing of the Badminton World Federation (BWF), the sport's international ruling body.
Secretary general Thomas Lund said: ”BWF is aware of several communications from government authorities in Argentina and Brazil in relation to the participation of the Falkland Islands women's badminton team in the Pan Am Team Continental Championships 2020 due to take place in Salvador Bahia starting tomorrow (Thursday).
”This tournament is a qualifying event for the TOTAL BWF Thomas & Uber Cups 2020 and is a BWF and Badminton Pan America Confederation (BPAC) sanctioned competition.
As a result, BWF Member Associations within the Pan Am confederation have the right under the BWF Statutes to enter on the grounds that 'a player shall not have his or her entry refused for reasons of gender, sexual orientation, race, religion or politics'.
BWF can confirm the Falkland Island team has entered in a valid manner, and as such is eligible to participate in the tournament.”
From the BWF (Badminton World Federation): Badminton players and teams from BWF Member Associations have the right to participate in BWF sanctioned tournaments. This right to participation is clear in our regulations:
Article 7.6.states - For BWF Sanctioned Tournaments, a Player shall not have his / her entry refused for reasons of gender, sexual orientation, race, religion or politics.