Argentina uses match to raise Falklands issue
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina’s dispute with Britain over the Falkland Islands, which has soured relations for decades, is threatening to ignite again during the World Cup.
Before a 2-0 victory on Saturday over Slovenia in an international friendly in La Plata, near Buenos Aires, Argentine players stood behind a banner that read in Spanish: Las Malvinas son Argentinas — the Malvinas are Argentine.
The islands in the south Atlantic, located off Argentina’s, coast are called the Falklands in English and Malvinas in Spanish.
Britain and Argentina went to war in 1982 over the islands, and since the defeat Argentina has continued to raise the issue of sovereignty.
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez has used the dispute to gain political support, bringing up a grievance shared by most Argentines.
FIFA, like the International Olympic Committee, defends the World Cup as a sporting event that should stay clear of politics. Argentina tried similar tactics to raise the issue before the 2012 London Olympics, but was warned not to do so by the IOC.