Messi In Tight Corner Over Cancelled Argentina-Israel Match
Messi In Tight Corner Over Cancelled Argentina-Israel Match
The Argentina squad in training in Barcelona
08 June, 2018, 15:23
In a letter to Argentinian Ambassador Faustino Garcia, Jabareen wrote: "While Israel has long sought global recognition and acceptance of Jerusalem as its capital, the recognition should not be forthcoming". Regev even took pride that the world's masses of followers of the star of the Argentine national team, Lionel Messi, would watch the game in Jerusalem ("kissing the Kotel"), and this would be a victory for Israeli public relations "in this period, which is marked by the BDS movement".
"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". Al-Quds is the historic Arabic name for Jerusalem, and Iran says the day is an occasion to express support for the Palestinians.
It is unclear whether Argentina will play another warm-up, or if it will arrive to Moscow ahead of schedule.
The status of Jerusalem, always a key sticking point in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, surged back to centre-stage when Trump tore up decades of U.S. policy to recognise it as Israel's capital in December.
In 2013, Messi and his Barcelona teammates toured Israel and Palestine in a carefully planned visit promoting peace in which they trained with children on both sides.
Despite Israel's aggressive worldwide lobbying to ensure BDS activists are sanctioned, in recent months Palestinians and the global solidarity movement have celebrated great victories. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeted the Argentinian team through its branch in the South American country.
"The team responded to creative campaigning from fans around the world denouncing Israel's sports-washing of its crimes against Palestinians".
He said that participating in the event would have been a form of complicity "magnified by Israel's recent horrific massacre in Gaza".
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Argentine President Mauricio Macri and urged him to intervene.
"The Israeli government is trying to give it political significance by insisting it be held in Jerusalem".
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Saturday's match was set to be played at the Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem, which sits on the site of a Palestinian village.
"From that moment on Palestinians launched an intense effort to prevent the game from taking place". "Messi would have been the first to lose if the game had taken place", Rajoub said. He had called on Arabs to burn Lionel Messi pictures and Messi T-shirts if he played the match.
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.
"Not that we needed it but it again showed how the management of Argentine football is a huge mafia", said Lorena Quiroga, a 40-year-old small business owner.
The Israel Football Association, meanwhile, announced on Wednesday it will file a complaint to Fifa accusing its Palestinian counterpart of pressuring Argentinian players and staff into cancelling a friendly match.
On Wednesday, Rajoub thanked the Argentines for "following their conscience".
"It's nothing against the Israeli community, it's nothing against the Jewish community", Tapia said. (Some pro-Palestinian activists had been waving bloody shirts at a peaceful demonstration in Barcelona, where the Argentine team is fine-tuning before Russian Federation.).
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