Argentinian badminton officials are threatening a Falkland Islands team to play under the name "Islas Malvinas" or pull out of an international competition, it has been claimed.
Falkland Islands Badminton are vowing to not give in to bullies amid alleged tensions ahead of the Badminton Pan Am Male & Female Cup 2020, which is due to commence on Thursday.
According to team officials, Argentina are trying to exert pressure on the Falkland Islands’ representatives to play as Islas Malvinas – the Spanish name for the islands which Argentina claim sovereignty over.
It is claimed Argentina is also putting pressure on host country Brazil to cancel the entire tournament if the Falkland Islands team do not bow to the demands.
The Falkland Islands are due to field a team in the competition’s Female Cup, which is due to run from Thursday to Sunday in Salvador, the capital of Brazilian state Bahia.
As well as the host nation, Canada, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru and the United States are also fielding teams at the Badminton World Federation-sanctioned tournament.
In a message on their Facebook page, Falkland Islands Badminton said: Unfortunately Argentina are putting on a SIGNIFICANT amount of pressure for our Falkland Islands team to either pull out of the tournament or play under ‘Islas M**vinas’.
Our chairman Doug Clark is with the team and has met with the Badminton Pan Am president and the tournament organisers.
He has informed them that we do not give in to bullies and that we will obviously NOT be withdrawing and we will NOT play as M**vinas.
Argentina are putting pressure on Brazil to pull the entire tournament if we do not give in to their demands. The draw for the tournament is due to take place tomorrow.
They added: Argentina aren’t even playing in the tournament.
Falkland Islands Badminton also highlighted a Badminton World Federation rule that states a player shall not have his / her entry refused for reasons of gender, sexual orientation, race, religion or politics.
Argentina, which refers to the Falkland Islands as Islas Malvinas, retains its sovereignty claim to the archipelago despite nearly 200 years of British control of the islands.
The long-running dispute spilled over into military conflict during the 1982 Falklands War.
In 2013, Falkland Islands residents voted overwhelmingly to keep their status as a British Overseas Territory in a referendum.
Sky News has contacted the Badminton World Federation for comment.
(c) Sky News 2020: Argentina ‘threatens Falklands badminton team to play as Malvinas’