Argentine star Rojo wants World Cup reversal of fortune

Argentine star Rojo wants World Cup reversal of fortune

"What has happened in the last 72 hours, the actions, the threats that have occurred have led us to take the decision not to travel", he said during a news conference in Barcelona, where the Argentine team is training prior to the start of the World Cup next week.

But its status had been placed in doubt earlier, following protests by Palestinian football authorities who had urged Messi not to take part.

The head of the Palestinian football association, Jibril Rajoub, had urged Argentina to cancel the match and had called on Arab football fans to burn posters of Argentina captain Lionel Messi if he participated.

"The Israeli government has turned a regular sports match into a political tool".

Argentina canceled a World Cup warmup game against Israel's national soccer team, citing unspecified "threats and provocations" against one of the tournament's star players, the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires said Wednesday. Let us know in the comments section below.

Israeli defence minister Avigdor Lieberman tweeted: "It's a shame that Argentina's footballing nobility did not withstand the pressure from Israeli-hating inciters".

Reports said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had called Argentinian president Mauricio Macri to ask him to persuade the team not to cancel their visit.

Palestinian authorities said in May that more than 50 people were killed by the Israeli military in Palestinian protests along the Gaza border as the us opened its new embassy in Jerusalem.

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Officials at the Argentine president's office declined to comment on the issue.

2014's FIFA World Cup runners up Argentina have one of the strongest front lines in the world.

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.

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

The Palestinians accused Israel of using the fixture and the participation of Barcelona ace Lionel Messi to underpin its disputed claim to Jerusalem, which U.S. President Donald Trump recognised in 2017 as Israel's capital in a break from worldwide consensus.

At the same time, Israel has faced fierce criticism over its use of lethal force against Palestinian protesters on the Gaza Strip border with the Jewish state.

The cancellation follows pressure from Palestinian football officials and global campaign groups.

Jorge Sampaoli's men will face Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria in Group D in Russian Federation and while Messi admitted Argentina - runners-up in 2014 - were below the level of the favourites, he hopes they can deliver at the showpiece tournament.

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