Argentina national team make Falklands statement.
Fifa are set to launch an investigation after the Argentina national team held up a banner claiming sovereignty of the Falkland Islands, before they took on Slovenia in a friendly on Saturday, reports Sky Sports.
The large banner, which was held by a number of the first XI including Maxi Rodriguez and Ezequiel Lavezzi, read “Las Malvinas Son Argentinas” meaning, “The Falklands are Argentinian.”
The banner is not an uncommon site at Argentina matches, but with the World Cup just around the corner the protest has been granted added publicity. Fifa are yet to comment on the banner, except to say that they are investigating the situation.
The topic remains a thorny issue in Argentina and it is clearly of significant importance for their national team to make their feelings clear on the matter. The Falkland Islands have been ruled by Britain since 1833 and the countries went to war over the dispute in 1982.
Argentina kick-off their World Cup campaign on Sunday against Bosnia-Herzegovina at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro. If they were to unfurl the same banner on that global stage then their protest would become an even more public issue.
Alejandro Sabella’s side go on to face Iran on 21 June and Nigeria on 25 June in a group which they are strongly expected to dominate.
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