Argentina cancel final World Cup warm up game against Israel

Argentine soccer player Lionel Messi puts a paper with wishes in a crack in the Western Wall

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Additionally, the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires said in a statement that it "regrets to communicate the suspension of the match" due to "threats and provocations" against Argentinean striker Lionel Messi.

The game, Argentina's final warm-up match before the World Cup in Russian Federation, which begins next week, was highly anticipated in Israel with tickets selling out in 20 minutes, but drew a furious reaction from the Palestinians.

"I call on the Argentinian team and especially captain Lionel Messi - because he is very popular in Palestine, particularly in the Gaza Strip - to stand in solidarity with Palestinians and to boycott the scheduled game with Israel, which is occupying our land", Khalil said.

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.

Information from The Associated Press and Reuters was used in this report. The threats, which tie into the controversial Israel-Palestine conflict, seem to have had an impact, and it is being reported that the game could be cancelled.

"This match has become a political tool".

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Asked if that marks a dramatic change in his thinking, given his recent hard-fought court battle, Rotondo answered succinctly. Local media report he left the house in Camillus, N.Y., just four hours before his high noon deadline to depart.


Barcelona ace Leo Messi says Argentina need to come closer as a team if they're to win the World Cup.

Palestinians hailed the cancellation as a victory. "The Israeli government is trying to give it political significance by insisting it be held in Jerusalem", Rajoub said.

The news was met with cheers in Gaza, where at least 120 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces during recent protests.

The game was originally scheduled to be played in Haifa but Israeli authorities later arranged it to be moved to Jerusalem, thus adding to Palestinians' anger and frustration over last month's opening of the US Embassy in the city part of which they claim as their own capital. Stating it's impossible to enjoy games when millions of Palestinians don't enjoy "human rights" Odeh said that "there is only one way to win, ending the occupation and having a real peace treaty, which is still possible". On Tuesday, a group of Catalan pro-Palestinian protesters called out the names of the players and asked them not to participate in the "cover-up" of a social conflict.

On Sunday he called for Palestinians to burn replica shirts and pictures of Messi.

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