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Argentina facing disciplinary measures for unfurling Falklands banner in friendly match

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RIO DE JANEIRO - 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.

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