THE British Government considered pulling Scotland, England and Northern Ireland out of the 1982 World Cup as war broke out with Argentina over the Falkland Islands, newly released National Archive papers reveal.

In the aftermath of Argentina's invasion of the Falklands, sports governing bodies were urged to pull out of competitions with Argentinian teams.

Although neither England, Scotland or Northern Ireland were due to play in the same qualifying group as cup holders Argentina, there were worries that Scotland could meet them in the second round and England could come up against them in the final.

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But, a note explains Scottish Sports Minister Alex Fletcher downplayed the chance of a Scotland-Argentina tie, telling Mrs Thatcher that Scotland had "never yet qualified for the second round".