Israel Angry over Argentina’s Cancellation of Football Match


He said the sole aim of opponents of the Jerusalem game was "to strike at our basic right to self-defence and to bring about the destruction of Israel". He called the Argentinian decision a "victory" for sport. "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 global law".

Argentina's global friendly against Israel was cancelled because of threats against Albiceleste star Lionel Messi, says the Israeli sports minister.

Israel considers all of Jerusalem its capital, while Palestinians want the eastern part of the city as capital of their own state. "Argentina says no to Israeli friendly 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 game was canceled for one reason only - threats to the life of the star Messi", Israeli Sports Minister Miri Regev said at a news conference Wednesday, showing photos of threatening posters she said were sent to Argentine players and coaches.

That Argentina was prepared to cancel one of its precious warm-up matches days ahead of the World Cup illustrates the awkwardness of the situation Israel had placed them in. "We felt that it wasn't right to go".

"At the current time in which the U.S. president and Israeli officials are trying to take Jerusalem off the negotiating table, it is important to see that people power can produce results", she said.

In recent days, the PA campaign intensified in the media and the social media, and dozens of BDS activists demonstrated in front of the Barcelona training camp of the Argentine team, which is preparing for the World Cup games in Russian Federation this month.

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The friendly soccer match that was scheduled for Saturday night at the Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem between Argentina and Israel will not take place, the Israeli embassy in Argentina announced late Tuesday night.

"From that moment on Palestinians launched an intense effort to prevent the game from taking place".

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.

According to Barghouti, the match "was all part of the Israeli apartheid regime's sports-washing policy to use global sporting events to cover up its war crimes and egregious human rights violations against Palestinians".

Although Israeli officials-both the government and the football federation- are yet to react to news of the cancellation, there are reports in the Israeli press that say that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Argentina's president Mauricio Macri to ask him to "intervene" and "persuade" the Argentinian national squad not to cancel their visit to Jerusalem.

"(We) apologize. It's nothing against the Israeli community, the Jewish community and I would like everyone to take this decision as a contribution to world peace", he said.

Jibril Rajoub, head of the Palestine Football Association, called for fans to burn Messi's jersey, and protesters gathered outside Argentina's practice facility holding team shirts covered with red paint to look like bloodstains.

"I took this decision".