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Argentina FA president Claudio Tapia apologises for cancelled Israel friendly

07 June 2018, 01:20 | Kristopher Drake

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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 friendship between Argentina and Israel, which will soon celebrate its 70th anniversary, is not about a football match".

Rojo expects Messi to be a key player for Argentina at the World Cup.

Gonzalo Higuain confirmed the cancellation of the fixture in an interview with ESPN, saying that "the right thing" had been done. Let us know in the comments section below.

"It's a shame that Argentina's footballing nobility did not withstand the pressure from Israeli-hating inciters", Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.

"Messi is a symbol of peace and love", he said in a statement ahead of the game.

There was no immediate reaction on the cancellation from Israel, but Israeli news site Ynet reported that prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu had called Argentine President Mauricio Macri and urged him to intervene.

Alon Liel, a former director-general of Israel's Foreign Ministry, saw the dustup as fallout from the embassy move.

Zinedine Zidane, master of dramatic departures, Football News & Top Stories
But Tottenham are likely to fight to keep him. "I have just signed a long contract with Tottenham, and am happy here". We always want more from the players, and a moment comes when I can not ask them for more.

The Israeli Embassy in Argentina tweeted to confirm that the football friendly between the two countries was off.

THE Argentina World Cup squad for Russian Federation 2018 has been confirmed.

As most of the Israeli politicians and media chose to attack Palestinians and blame Argentina for the cancellation of the game, some of them questioned the authorities insistence to hold the match in Jerusalem. The Palestinians claim east Jerusalem as the capital of a future state.

He said: "From a sporting point of view, I would have preferred to play in Barcelona".

The Palestinian Football Association, or PFA, last week urged Argentina to cancel the match.

Local media had reported earlier Tuesday that the game was set to be scrapped, depriving Messi and his team-mates of a final warm-up game before they open their World Cup campaign in Russian Federation.

The game would have come shortly after multiple protests and violence in Jerusalem after United States President Donald Trump moved the USA embassy to the capital - which is claimed by both Israel and Palestine. A petition cited "Israel's long record of human rights abuses, on and off the field", and also referenced the recent Israeli sniper shooting of Palestinian soccer player Mohammed Khalil while he was peacefully protesting during the March of Great Return.

Israel considers the entire city its own "indivisible" capital and says the Hamas group is using the protests at the border as a cover for attacks.



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