The friendly game was not carried out due to a series of intimidations that scared the South American squad
The friendly match between Argentina and Israel had to be suspended for political reasons that entangled the sporting spectacle. The fact originated after the conflict between Jews and Arabs, which increased with the decision of Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
There were regrettable events before this meeting, as there were a series of situations that intimidated the Argentineans. In the training of those led by Jorge Sampaoli in Barcelona, the star, Lionel Messi was the target of all kinds of threats.
LatinAmerican Post presents each of the details that prevented the friendly game between Argentina and Israel from taking place.
What happened at the Joan Gamper Sports Complex in Barcelona?
Around 30 protesters of the Palestinian cause were in the outskirts of the venue where the Argentine National Football Team was concentrated. They asked the Argentineans athletes not to play against the Israelites, because according to their vision, the Argentines would become victims of violence. Among the protests that were heard was one that said "Do not wash the image of Israel! As Maradona said, the ball is not stained! ", reported the newspaper El Clarín of Argentina.
The President of the Palestinian Federation, Jibril Rajoub, expressed in a press conference that if the game was disputed, they would burn Messi's shirts. In the training of those led by Jorge Sampaoli, Palestinian supporters showed Lionel Messi shirts with red paint.
Seeing the simulation of blood on the shirts, the players of the 'Albiceleste' asked to cancel the game. The players of the Argentine team were surprised and tried to ignore the situation but they could not do it, according to South American newspapers such as La Hora de Ecuador and El Mercurio de Chile.
All for a place
Initially, the commitment was to take place in Haifa, but then it was decided that it was going to be played in Jerusalem in order to see Lionel Messi. "It is convenient to see one of the best players in the world in Jerusalem," Israeli Sports Minister Miri Regev told the Maariv newspaper.
Subsequently, a series of situations were generated by the Palestinians who expressed their outrage over social networks. The Palestinians did not agree that this meeting will be played, because Jerusalem is a territory that has been invaded by the Israelites. For that reason, they initiated a boycott against the Argentines, and showed them blood shirts at the hotel to the players.
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Impressions of the Argentine players
"At the end we did the right thing. The first thing is health and common sense. The best thing was not to go", Gonzalo Higuain told ESPN Deportes. In the same way, the players met with the president of the AFA, Claudio 'Chiqui' Tapia, showing his refusal to the commitment.
Another player referring to the Argentinean team, whose name was reserved, told Diario El Clarín that they were very concerned about security. For its part, the Argentine coaching staff led by Jorge Sampaoli, made the decision that everything flowed and that the best thing was not to play.
At the same time, the Ambassador of Palestine in Argentina, Husni Abdel Wahed, disagreed on the fulfillment of this commitment. "This game is as if we celebrated the anniversary of occupation of the Falklands", Wahed told Radio Cooperativa.
The Palestine Football Association showed its gratitude to the Argentinean combined for the cancellation of this meeting. "It's positive that the Argentine team has not lent itself to be a political tool," Susan Shalabi, the agency's director, told EFE.
Similarly, Shalabi added that this is a good example of separation of politics and sport and to prevent the imposition of certain laws. In a statement issued by the Embassy of Israel in Argentina, he repudiated the threats received by the gaucho crack, Lionel Messi.
-Argentina played a friendly match against Israel in 1986 in Jerusalem, prior to the World Cup in Mexico and was crowned World Champion
-Technician Jorge Sampaoli asked that the game be played in Barcelona
-The match was to be played at the Teddy Kollek stadium in Jerusalem, which was built on the ruins of the Palestinian village of Malha
Latin American Post | Daniel Cuevas
Translated from “¿Cuáles son las razones por las que Messi fue amenazado y se canceló el partido con Israel?”