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Margaret Thatcher almost pulled England from Argentina World Cup game due to Falklands War

SPORTS By Mirror | May 1st 2014

British teams were almost pulled out of the World Cup due to the Falklands War.

The Thatcher Government considered withdrawing Kevin Keegan’s England – along with Scotland and Northern Ireland – to prevent them playing Argentina during the 1982 conflict.

But Environment Secretary Michael Heseltine eventually rejected calls for a boycott, saying it would be seen as a “moral victory” by the Argentinians, while also damaging relations with tournament hosts Spain.

He wrote: “My present view is that HMG should not yet suggest withdrawal to the football authorities, be that we should be ready to adopt that course, at short notice if the situation worsens and in the light of public opinion.”

The Tories also feared the massive financial cost of a withdrawal, according to documents just released.

In the event, Argentinian forces surrendered on June 14, just as the competition started.

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