Argentina facing sanctions over Falklands banner

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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - Argentina’s football association is facing disciplinary measures from FIFA after some national team players at a recent friendly unfurled a banner related to the dispute over the Falkland Islands.

Before the match a week ago against Slovenia, Argentine players stood behind a banner that read in Spanish: “Las Malvinas son Argentinas” - The Malvinas are Argentine.

FIFA on Friday said it was investigating the case, citing a statute that prohibits “provocative or aggressive actions” and another regulation dealing with team conduct.

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez has used the dispute to gain political support, bringing up a grievance shared by most Argentines.

Britain and Argentina went to war in 1982 over the Falklands in the South Atlantic - an area known as Malvinas in Spanish. Since the defeat Argentina has continued to raise the issue of sovereignty.

Football’s world governing body insists the World Cup is a sporting event that should stay clear of politics.

FIFA said Argentina can provide its own evidence in the disciplinary case. It gave no indication of any timeframe or possible penalty.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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