Argentina friendly with Israel to be scrapped


Argentina's friendly with Israel this weekend has been cancelled due to alleged threats that have been made against FC Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi.

The World Cup warmup match had been scheduled to take place in Saturday.

Ahead of the demonstration meeting at Jerusalem's Teddy Kollek Stadium the Palestine Football Association chief Jibril Rajoub urged fans on to burn pictures of Messi and replicas of his shirt if he played in the game.

Argentina's controversial friendly against Israel has been suspended after threats towards Lionel Messi and waves of protests.

Following the reports of cancellation, Israeli officials scrambled to try and get the game back on track, with Netanyahu phoning Argentinian President Mauricio Macri.

"I don't consider myself the best, I think I am just another player", he says.

Calling the Argentinian decision to play in Israel "handing oneself over to politics" Rajoub claimed the Israeli government desires that "Palestinian children will see their heros play [soccer] over the graves of their fathers".

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Although the stadium that was slated to host the match is in west Jerusalem, Rajoub had complained that it is situated in a neighborhood built on the site of a former Palestinian village destroyed during the war surrounding Israel's independence 70 years ago.

The cancellation of the game is being viewed as a major victory for BDS, which seeks equal rights for Palestinians.

Palestinians celebrated the game's cancellation.

Rajoub has long urged FIFA to expel Israel from the global football federation, citing Israeli travel restrictions on Palestinian soccer players and because Israel maintains teams in West Bank settlements.

There was no initial reaction from the Israeli FA or from Israeli politicians.

"I stressed that the game, in the wake of the killing of the Palestinians in Gaza and the relocation of the United States. embassy to Jerusalem, sends a unsafe message to the Israeli government that the world ignores its gross human rights violations". Stating it's impossible to enjoy games when millions of Palestinians don't enjoy "human rights" Odeh said that "there is only one way to win, ending the occupation and having a real peace treaty, which is still possible". "We ask him not to participate in laundering the crimes of the occupation", he added.