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Fifa fines Argentina for pre-World Cup Falklands banner

Argentina's FA has been fined 30,000 Swiss francs (£19,444) by Fifa after members of the national team stood with a banner claiming the Falklands as Argentine before a World Cup warm-up match.

The political banner was unfurled before Argentina beat Slovenia 2-0 with Lionel Messi scoring the second goal.
The political banner was unfurled before Argentina beat Slovenia 2-0, with Lionel Messi scoring the second goal. Credit: Reuters/Marcos Brindicci

Several players from the team that went on to lose the tournament's final to Germany stood behind the banner reading "Las Malvinas Son Argentinas" ("The Falklands are Argentine") before a friendly win against Slovenia in Buenos Aires on June 7.

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Tear gas fired to disperse fans in Buenos Aires

Riot police have fired tear gas and used water cannons to disperse Argentina fans who were angry at their team's World Cup final performance.

Clashes were reported in downtown Buenos Aires in the hours following the loss.

Argentina's fans clash with riot police. Credit: REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado
An Argentina soccer fan is detained by riot police. Credit: REUTERS/Andres Stapff
Argentina's fans run away from tear gas on the streets of Buenos Aires. Credit: REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado

More: Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Argentina coach says Germany have the advantage

Argentina's coach Alejandro Sabella believes Germany will have the advantage in the World Cup final.

Speaking after his team knocked the Netherlands out of the tournament 4-2 on penalties, Sabella said the fact Germany has a extra day's rest while his players faced extra time and a gruelling penalty shootout could be "crucial".

Argentina's coach Alejandro Sabella celebrates as his team goes through to the World Cup final.
Argentina's coach Alejandro Sabella celebrates as his team goes through to the World Cup final. Credit: REUTERS/Sergio Moraes

"Some of our players are sore, beaten, tired - the results of a war so to speak," he told reporters.

The match is extremely difficult ... Germany is always a difficult hurdle to overcome", Sabella added.

Pictures: The moment Argentina knocked Netherlands out of the World Cup

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'Falklands banner' unfurled by Argentina on World Cup eve

Argentina's football team posed behind a banner declaring "Las Malvinas Son Argentinas (The Malvinas are Argentine)" to the 52,000 crowd before their kick off with Slovenia last night.

Fifa take a hard-line approach when dealing with players political views during its large competitions, issuing a fine and a two game ban for South Korea player Jongwoo Park in 2012, after he displayed a political banner during the Olympics.

The Falklands banner is apparently put on show before many Argentina games, but the proximity to the World Cup has brought new attention.

Argentina footballers in Falkland Islands banner stunt

Argentina's football team stood behind a banner claiming the Falkland Islands belonged to the South American country ahead of a friendly match in Buenos Aires.

The Liberation monument in Stanley, Falkland Islands. Credit: Emma Hallett/PA Archive

The team displayed the message apparently in support of the country's claims over the sovereignty of the islands which are a British Overseas Territory.

Despite diplomatic clashes over the territory since President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner took power in Argentina in 2007, islanders voted by 1,513 to three in favour of remaining British in a referendum last year.

Prime Minister David Cameron said the result of the ballot "could not have sent a clearer message".

Argentina beat Slovenia 2-0, with goals from Lionel Messi and Ricardo Alvarez.

Read: Veterans 'outraged' by Collymore's Falklands tweet

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