BUENOS AIRES- Striker Gonzalo Higuain said on Tuesday that Argentina called their World Cup warm-up against Israel as political pressure grew on the country’s football federation as the game fixture drew closer.
Higuian said in a interview with ESPN, confirming the reports the game had been cancelled, “They’ve finally done the right thing.”
The match which was suppose to take place at the Teddy Kollek Stadium was to be Argentina’s last before they kick off their World Cup campaign in Russia on 16 June.
There has not been a response from the Israeli FA or from politicians. According to media reports Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had called Argentinian President Mauricio Macri to ask him to persuade the team not to cancel their visit.
Palestinians celebrated the cancellation, people in Gaza cheered at the news and the Palestinian FA released a statement, they said, “The Palestinian FA thanks Argentina’s players led by star Messi for refusing to be used to serve a non-sporting goal.”
Palestinian FA chairman Jibril Rajoub said, “Values, morals and sport have secured a victory today and a red card was raised at Israel through the cancellation of the game.”
The game did cause huge interest in Israel as world star Lionel Messi was planned to participate.
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