Olympics: Argentina Could Send Athletes To London Wearing Badges Claiming Falklands Ownership
Argentina could send athletes to the London Olympics wearing badges stating the country’s claim to the Falkland Islands.
The proposal, which has received widespread political support, has been forwarded in a bill put to the Argentinian National Congress.
The country's president, Cristina Kirchner, has stated that Argentina and Britain should negotiate over ownership of the Islands, however, should the bill pass, an image of the archipelago wrapped in an Argentinian flag will adorn the Argentinian national team kit, while the athletes’ shirts would bear the words “Las Islas Malvinas son Argentinas” (the Falklands are Argentina’s).
The islands in the South Atlantic are part of a long-standing sovereignty dispute between the UK and Argentina.
In 1982, Argentinian forces invaded the territory, which have been under British rule since 1883. The subsequent 10-week conflict led to the deaths of 255 Britons, 655 Argentines and three islanders.
Diplomatic relations were reestablished in 1990, but successive Argentine governments have stated their intention to reclaim “Las Malvinas”.
On hearing the news, Tory MP for Romford Andrew Rosindell said: If this goes ahead it would be a terrible insult to the people of the Falkland Islands, who have a democratic right to be British."
Last month, the Ministry of Defence revealed that Prince William, a Flight Lieutenant with the RAF, will deploy to the remote outcrop in the South Atlantic for six weeks next year to fly search and rescue helicopter missions.
Although the Chief of the Defence Staff denied the move was provocative, Argentine official Sebastian Brugo Marco said his country could not ignore the "political" implications of his move, which comes shortly before the 30th anniversary of Argentina's defeat in the Falklands.