Argentina-Israel friendly in Jerusalem reportedly canceled amid Palestinian pressure
Jun 06 2018
The game was originally slated to be played in Haifa, however, Israeli authorities moved it to Jerusalem following US President Donald Trump's recognition of the city as Israel's capital.
The match against Israel had drawn criticism with the head of the Palestinian Football Association urging fans last weekend to burn pictures of Argentina striker Lionel Messi and replicas of his shirt if he played in the game.
Jibril Rajoub, head of the Palestinian football association, had encouraged fans to burn shirts bearing Messi's name if he made a decision to play.
Earlier the Palestinian Ambassador to Argentina condemned the match between Israel and Argentina.
Yet despite those failures and setbacks, the five-time Ballon d'Or victor, who recently admitted he would happily swap some of his Barcelona silverware for a taste of global glory, is counting on the famous Argentine spirit to carry the team through this year's World Cup.
The friendly fixture was meant to be the Argentinean team's last warmup match before the World Cup finals in Russian Federation next week.
"Values, morals and sport have secured a victory today and a red card was raised at Israel through the cancellation of the game", said chairman Jibril Rajoub, quoted by Reuters news agency.
BDS criticised the fixture as "political", and accused Israeli officials of using it to cover up attacks on Palestinians "on and off the field". 'We ask him not to participate in laundering the crimes of the occupation'.