Barca star in middle of Israel-Palestinian spat

Barca star in middle of Israel-Palestinian spat

Barca star in middle of Israel-Palestinian spat

The game, Argentina's final warm-up before the World Cup, was to be played in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Malha, which is situated on the site of a former Palestinian village that was destroyed during the war that established Israel 70 years ago.

Argentina will now remain in Barcelona, where they have been training for the World Cup, until Saturday when they will travel to Russian Federation.

The World Cup kicks off in Russian Federation on June 14, with Messi looking to inspire Argentina to victory, having lost in the final four years ago.

"The cancelation of the game was a slap in the face for the Israeli government that spent millions for the game to take place in Jerusalem", said Jibril Rajoub, head of the Palestinian Football Association (PFA).

Official confirmation followed from both the Argentina Football Association (AFA) and Embassy of Israel in Argentina, which detailed the allegations in relation to Barcelona star Messi.

The pre-World Cup "friendly" match was scheduled for Saturday at Teddy Stadium, located in West Jerusalem.

"We apologise to all the Argentines that live in Israel and the Israelis that bought the tickets so fast to watch the Argentina national team".

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) welcomed the decision on Tuesday.

Many Palestinians took to social media, initially to protest against the match and then to thank Argentina for its decision to withdraw.

"There's only one thing she didn't say: I apologize".

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"It's nothing against them, nothing against the Jewish community, on the contrary", Tapia said in today's news conference in Barcelona, where the team is training.

Argentina will now remain in Barcelona, where they have been training for the World Cup, until Saturday when they will travel to Russian Federation.

"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.

"There were going to be children from different religions that were going to interact with our players, it was a clear message that football is a universal sport, that transcends frontiers, that it has to be understood as a sport, where everything starts and ends on the football pitch, that it has nothing to do with violence". I think everyone has to be aware that football is a game, that it transcends religion, sexes.

A statement from the Embassy of Israel in Argentina detailed some of the issues behind the decision.

Israel's sports minister said threats made to Argentine players, including captain Lionel Messi, were the reason for the Latin American country's abrupt cancellation of a World Cup warm-up match with Israel in Jerusalem.

Rajoub told journalists he had written to Argentina's government asking that Messi not take part in the June 9 friendly.

In the United States, European football is called soccer.

"The Palestinian football federation praised the players of the Argentine team led by star Messi and the rest of the players".

Israel demanded soccer's governing body investigate what it said were threats against Argentina players that forced them to cancel a match in Jerusalem, including Palestinian calls to burn replica shirts of Lionel Messi if he played. Jibril Rajoub, the chairman of the Palestinian FA, called the cancelation a victory for Palestine and the values shared by people supporting its cause.

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