Argentina’s national football team has cancelled an upcoming friendly match with Israel, Argentine sports website Minutouno reported.
The report states that Saturday’s game in Jerusalem had been “suspended” amid an “escalation of violence, threats and criticism” directed at captain ‘Leo’ Messi.
Argentina, a major contender to win the World cup this summer, has made four previous pre-World Cup visits to Israel since 1986. The fixture between the two teams was set to be played in Jerusalem’s Teddy Stadium on June 9, which is built on land that was once a Palestinian village that was destroyed in 1948.
Israeli media reported that in light of this latest development, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will speak to his Argentinian counterpart Mauricio Macri by telephone. The ambassador of Palestine in Argentina, Husni Abdel Wahed, had expressed his opposition to the friendly.