A year later, Argentine soccer team to play in Israel

Argentina’s national soccer team to play in Israel, a year after previous friendly match was cancelled due to BDS pressure.

Elad Benari ,

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Reuters

Argentina’s national soccer team will play next month in Israel, more than a year after the cancellation of a previous friendly match due to pressure from the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, JTA reported on Thursday.

The Argentine team will play Uruguay in a friendly held in Tel Aviv on November 19, according to the report.

Argentina’s national team is led by the global star Lionel Messi, who currently plays for the Spanish team Barcelona.

Argentine broadcaster Torneos y Competencias, which hold the rights to broadcast the national team matches, announced the scheduled match on Thursday.

The team will first play a friendly against Brazil in Saudi Arabia on November 15 before heading to Israel.

Messi and the Argentinian national soccer team were scheduled to play a friendly match against the Israeli national team in Jerusalem in June of 2018, but the Argentinian team cancelled the game, citing threats against Messi as the reason for the cancellation.

FIFA, the governing body of soccer, started disciplinary proceedings against Palestinian Football Association (PFA) chief Jibril Rajoub, after he called for protest against Messi and his plan to play with Argentina in Jerusalem.

In his speech, Rajoub encouraged burning Messi shirts if he played in Israel, and compared modern Israel to Nazi Germany.

FIFA ultimately suspended Rajoub for one year.




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