Terror threats to Messi see World Cup warm-up match cancelled

Terror threats to Messi see World Cup warm-up match cancelled

Terror threats to Messi see World Cup warm-up match cancelled

"The will of values, ethics and the message of sport had triumphed today, and the red card had been lifted in Israel's face by cancelling this match".

Argentina Football Association (AFA) president Claudio Tapia has apologised to Israelis for the cancellation of Saturday's worldwide friendly but maintained it was the right decision because of the threatening atmosphere surrounding the match. "This game will be used by Israel to cover the massacre against the Palestinian people, in order to reaffirm Jerusalem as their capital, in violation of worldwide law".

Argentina canceled a World Cup warmup game against Israel's national soccer team, citing unspecified "threats and provocations" against one of the tournament's star players, the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires said Wednesday.

The sold-out game in Jerusalem was hotly opposed by Palestinians, who claim the eastern part of the city, annexed by Israel, as the capital of their future state.

Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie said before confirmation of the game's cancellation that he believed his country's players had been reluctant to travel to Israel for the match.

The BDS, which last month initiated a wider campaign to persuade Argentina to withdraw from the fixture, described the game as a "political tool" that Israel sought to use to "cover up attacks on Palestinians on and off the field". The football match was to take place just days before the start of World Cup championship action in Russian Federation. "The fact that Argentina fans and human rights activists around the world succeeded in thwarting it gives us a lot of hope", Omar Barghouti of PACBI said.

The Albiceleste begin their World Cup campaign against Iceland on June 16.

Rajoub told "Israel Times" newspaper that his Palestinian football association only began to campaign against the match after Regev chose to move it to Jerusalem and "turn it into a political" event. But when reporters asked Netanyahu in London about whether the game was canceled due to Israeli mishandling, he said he had only spoken to her briefly and had not understood that moving the game to Jerusalem could result in its cancellation.

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He had a picture of him with Messi and a sign reading: "From Palestine, thank you Messi".

Hamadeh Freij, a journalist in Gaza, said that people in the besieged territory were excited about the decision and that the issue dominated discussions during iftar.

Palestine Liberation Organization Secretary General Saeb Erekat gave thanks to "Argentina and its courageous people as well as its distinguished football team for choosing to abide by the principles of worldwide law".

Palestinian football officials praised Argentina and its star Lionel Messi on Wednesday for calling off a friendly match against Israel that Israeli officials had planned to move to Jerusalem.

At the request of Minister Regev, Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke with Argentine President Mauricio Macri Tuesday night, in an attempt to prevent the cancellation, but after two phone conversations it became apparent that Macri was unable to influence the decision.

"We also apologise to those that were going to take part in an event done for peace", Tapia added.

Many Palestinians took to social media, initially to protest against the match and then to thank Argentina for its decision to withdraw.

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