2018 FIFA WC

2018 FIFA WC: The drama comes to an end! Argentina cancels friendly against Israel, but why?

XtraTime Web Desk:
The drama continues, the proposed FIFA World Cup friendly between Argentina and Palestine is not going to happen.

Argentina have cancelled their football friendly with Israel after protests by pro-Palestinian groups and claims of threats against star player Lionel Messi.

Jibril Rajoub, head of the Palestinian football association, had encouraged fans to burn shirts bearing Messi's name if he decided to play.

The Israeli embassy said "it regrets to communicate the suspension of the match between Israel and Argentina", and referred to unspecified "threats" and "provocations" against Messi.


Mr Rajoub told journalists that he had written to Argentina's government asking that the player not take part.

"The Israeli government is trying to give it political significance by insisting it be held in Jerusalem," he said, adding that Messi was "a symbol of peace and love".


He added: "We ask him not to participate in laundering the crimes of the occupation."


The Palestinian football association welcomed the cancellation of the match and said sport will not be used as "a tool of political blackmail".

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