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Argentina-Israel friendly in Jerusalem reportedly canceled amid Palestinian pressure

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Argentina-Israel friendly in Jerusalem reportedly canceled amid Palestinian pressure

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'.

Nigeria are in Group D of the global soccer fiesta alongside the South Americans, Croatia and Iceland.

There was no immediate reaction on the cancellation of the friendly game from Israel.

Israeli media reported that in light of this latest development, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will speak to his Argentinian counterpart Mauricio Macri by telephone.

However multiple reports in Argentina on Tuesday said the game had either already been scrapped or was soon to be.

Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war and later annexed the area in a move not recognised by the global community.

"We give everything when we are wearing it and we want payback for the way things happened at the last World Cup".

The day witnessed a massacre by Israeli forces of over 60 people in Gaza who demonstrated against the move. The vast majority of casualties have been unarmed.

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