AFA questioned by FIFA over "Belgrano" championship

Berne: Soccer`s governing body FIFA has questioned the Argentine FA over reports that the country`s championship could be renamed after the General Belgrano battleship sunk during the Falklands conflict in 1982.

AFA has been warned that the potential name change for the Clausura championship, which began last weekend, could breach FIFA statutes.

"FIFA contacted AFA with regards to a potential change of name of the Liga de Primera Division. According to media reports, the league was set to be named after "Crucero General Belgrano," said FIFA in a statement.

"FIFA has requested the AFA to provide further information on this matter, and reminded the AFA of article three 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."

It added: "A potential change of name of the Liga de Primera Division would clearly infringe the above mentioned article and could be sanctioned in accordance with the FIFA Statutes."

Argentine media said the name change would have to be approved first by the AFA`s executive committee, which meets weekly, usually on Tuesdays.

Britain and Argentina fought a 10-week war over the Falkland Islands in 1982 after Argentina invaded the South Atlantic islands, which the Argentines call Las Malvinas.

The sinking of the General Belgrano killed 323 Argentine sailors in what was a turning point in the war.

Tensions between Britain and Argentina have been stirred again in recent months by oil exploration in the Falklands.

At present, AFA`s web site simply refers to the championship as "Torneo de Primera."

Bureau Report