The British government considered pulling England out of the 1982 World Cup as war broke out over the Falkland Islands, according to documents released by the National Archives under the 30-year rule.
In the aftermath of the Falklands conflict, sports governing bodies were urged to pull out of competitions with Argentinian teams because players might find it "difficult to meet Argentina on a sports field" if fighting was continuing.
But the documents show that cabinet ministers debated whether pulling out of the 1982 Football World Cup in Spain would send the right message.
In the end, England played and was knocked out in the second round.
More top news
Prince William and Kate have announced they are to become 'full-time' Royals as they move their family back to London from Norfolk.
Jobs for Americans, a strengthened military, new trade deals and support for police will shape Donald Trump's four years in government.
Donald Trump pledged to put "America first" as he addressed the nation after being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.