Falklands: Argentina warned not to name top division for sunken cruiser Belgrano


It might inspire thoughts of vengeance. But victory?

The Argentinean Football Association has considered a proposal to rename its first division after the navy cruiser sunk by Britain 30 years ago during the Falklands War, according to the British website Sports Mole.

But the website says soccer’s world governing body FIFA, which has strict policies punishing government interference in the affairs of its member organizations, has warned the AFA not to call the top flight of Argentine soccer the “Crucero General Belgrano First Division.”

In what Argentina denounced as a war crime, Britain’s Royal Navy sank the ARA General Belgrano, killing all 323 hands on board in 1982.

Tensions between London and Buenos Aires have risen in recent weeks as the 30th anniversary of the war approaches.

More from GlobalPost: Sean Penn: Falklands belong to Argentina

In a statement carried by Sports Mole, FIFA asked for an explanation.

"A potential change of name could be sanctioned in accordance with the FIFA Statutes," the statement said.

"FIFA has requested the AFA to provide further information on this matter and reminded the AFA of Article 3 of the FIFA Statutes which prohibits any kind of discrimination against a country, private person or group of people on account of ethnic origin, gender, language, religion, politics or any other reason."

More from GlobalPost: Reevaluating the Falklands War

In a related development, the conservative British tabloid The Daily Mail today published an opinion piece responding to the remarks attributed yesterday to the American actor Sean Penn, who appeared to say the Falklands in fact belong to Argentina and that Britain, which he accused of colonialism, should enter negotiations on their sovereignty.

“Apparently we are ‘ludicrous and archaic.' Oh, are we? Well, Mr Penn, there are a few people here who think you are pretty ludicrous and archaic yourself now,” wrote Melissa Kite, a political editor.

“I know he likes throwing his weight around film sets but has he not heard of democracy? The people of the Falklands elected to remain British. They didn’t want a fascist dictator, thank you very much.”

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