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Dublin: 7 °C Friday 18 April, 2014

Top Argentine football league renamed in honour of sunk Belgrano warship

The Argentinian government owns the rights to First Division matches and shows games on free-to-air TV.

Boca Juniors fans.
Boca Juniors fans.
Image: Victor R. Caivano/AP/Press Association Images

ARGENTINA’S GOVERNMENT HAS decided to rename the country’s top football division after a naval ship sunk by British torpedoes during the Falklands War.

The season, which begins on Friday, will be the known as the Crucero General Belgrano Primera División or Cruiser General Belgrano First Division in English.

Argentina lost 649 servicemen in the war, 323 of whom were crew members on the Belgrano in May, 1982.

The Argentinian government owns the rights to First Division matches and shows games on free-to-air TV.

The Argentinian cruiser General Belgrano sinks amid orange life rafts holding survivors in the South Atlantic Ocean, after being torpedoed by the British Royal Navy on 1 May, 1982. Pic: AP Photo/ File

Advertising time during the matches is often used to promote the accomplishments of the government, which says the islands it calls “Las Islas Malvinas” belong to Argentina, of course.

The 30th anniversary of the start of the 10-week war is 2 April.

- additional reporting AP

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