Argentina-Israel friendly called off

Argentina-Israel friendly called off

Palestinians only opposed the canceled soccer game between Argentina and Israel due to Israeli leaders' decision to politicize it by relocating it from Haifa to Jerusalem, the head of the Palestinian Football Association said Wednesday.

The match, South Americans' final warm up game before the World Cup in Russian Federation next week, was scheduled to be played in Jerusalem's Teddy Stadium on June 9, was highly anticipated in Israel with tickets selling out in 20 minutes. Palestinian fans and leaders of the Palestinian Football Association called on Argentina to cancel the match, arguing that Israeli leaders had transformed the match into a "political tool" while also cracking down on Palestinian protesters along the Gaza border.

"The best goalkeeper? I played against many, but to choose one specifically I would say (Gianluigi) Buffon, and (Manuel) Neuer..."

Rajoub said that Palestinians only began to campaign against the match after Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev chose to move it to Jerusalem and "turn it into a political event".

Argentina, a major contender to win the World cup this summer, has made four previous pre-World Cup visits to Israel since 1986.

Even Palestinian Ambassador to Argentina, Husni Abdel Wahed, pressured the team to boycott the match. "Values, morals and sport have secured a victory today and a red card was raised at Israel through the cancellation of the game".

"But that's the way it is, we have to travel on the day before the match, play Israel in Israel and then from there go on to Russian Federation". "The Israeli government is trying to give it political significance by insisting it be held in Jerusalem", Rajoub said.

The game would have come shortly after multiple protests and violence in Jerusalem after United States President Donald Trump moved the US embassy to the capital - which is claimed by both Israel and Palestine.

However, Rajoub took it a step further, calling for a campaign against the Argentinian team and its star player, Lionel Messi. The Jewish state considers the entire city its own "indivisible" capital. "We ask him not to participate in laundering the crimes of the occupation", he added. People in Gaza cheered and in Ramallah in the West Bank, the Palestinian FA issued a statement thanking Messi and his colleagues for cancelling the game.

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