Argentina have cancelled their World Cup warm-up clash against Israel in the wake of a mounting political storm. Pressure has been increasing since the fixture was moved to Jerusalem, with recent protests outside the South Americans’ training ground.
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Striker Gonzalo Higuain, 30, confirmed the cancellation as he told EPSN: “They’ve finally done the right thing.”
The match at Jerusalem’s Teddy Stadium was to be Argentina’s last before they kick off their World Cup campaign in Russia on June 16.
The Palestinian FA issued a statement which read: “We thank Argentina’s players led by star Messi for refusing to be used to serve a non-sporting goal.”
Palestinian FA chairman Jibril Rajoub added: “Values, morals and sport have secured a victory today and a red card was raised at Israel through the cancellation of the game.”
Israel and Palestine are at loggerheads over Jerusalem, which both claim as their capital.
Tensions have increased after the US moved their embassy there from Tel Aviv in a controversial move from Donald Trump.
Argentina’s World Cup plans have taken a huge blow after the decision to call off the friendly, with no announcement over an alternative opponent.