Argentina has cancelled the friendly soccer match against Israel that had been scheduled for Saturday evening at Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem. In doing so, the Argentina Football Association (FA) succumbed to a massive BDS campaign, which included threats to individual players and their families, including the team's biggest star the Barcelona striker Lionel Messi. The Palestinian FA also threatened to torpedo Argentina's bid to host the 2030 World Cup finals.
Argentine FA vice president Hugo Moyano told Argentina's Radio 10, "I think it's a good thing that the match between Argentina and Israel was suspended. The right thing was done, it's not worth it. The stuff that happens in those places, where they kill so many people, as a human being you can't accept that in any way. The players' families were suffering due to the threats."
Palestinian protestors had demonstrated all week outside the Argentinean team training camp in Barcelona with bloodied soccer jerseys and Palestinian FA head Jabril Rajoub had called on soccer fans worldwide to burn shirts with Lionel Messi's name on it.
Israel's Minister of Culture and Sport Miri Regev, who had insisted that the match be switched from Haifa's Sammy Offer Stadium to Jerusalem's Teddy Stadium said that she hoped the Argentinean players would not yield to terrorism.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu contacted Argentinean President Mauricio Macri in an effort to salvage the game but was told that the players were determined not to come.
The friendly fixture was intended to be the Argentinean team's last warmup match before the World Cup finals in Russia next week.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 6, 2018
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