The Israeli Sports Minister, Miri Regev accused Palestinians of threatening the Argentine football team players with “terror elements,” which resulted in nixing the planned match with the Israeli team in Jerusalem.
This comes after the Argentina Football Association announcement of cancelling their planned match with the Israeli counterpart, as “not worth it”, according to the Argentina FA vice president. "What happens in these places where so many people are killed cannot be accepted by any human being. The families of the players were suffering,” he added.
It all started after the Argentina FA faced a wide condemnation by Palestinian Football Association and boycott movements to stop cooperating with occupation and stand in solidarity with Palestine and its people who are being brutally killed by the Israeli forces.
The match cancellation came as a slap in the face to Israel in a time they are facing an international isolation with boycotts mounting.
Therefore, Israel's Football Association (IFA) accused Palestinians of crossing a “red line” by inciting anger towards the Argentine players demanding FIFA to investigate the threats.
Palestinian officials welcomed the Argentina FA decision. According to the President Of Palestinian Football Association, Jibril Rajoub, they would not have any issue if the match was played in Haifa as it was first scheduled, but moving it to Jerusalem raised anger among Palestinians.
Rajoub commented on the cancellation of the match thanking the FA and the team saying it was “on the right track.” Rajoub added that Israel tried to use Messia and the Argentine stars for their benefit to confirm their sovereignty of Jerusalem, while Israel is celebrating the 70th anniversary for claimed independence.
Earlier last week, Rajoub urged the Argentina FA to cancel the match as called by the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement and the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI).
On social media, the match cancellation news was faced by mixed reactions.
The American Palestinian lawyer, Noura Erakat, tweeted praising the Argentina FA decision to cancel the match.
On Regev’s remarks on the “terror threats” faced by Palestinians, Carlos Latuff, the Brazilian political cartoonist responded saying: “No, Mrs. Regev. Argentina team just said NO to whitewashing of Israeli apartheid!”
Ayman Mohyeldin, a TV host on MSNBC also hailed the announcement, referring to latest news on cancelling Shakira’s concert that was planned in Israel this summer.
Another tweet by the former Argentine football player, Gabriel Solano, in support with the cancellation.
Translation: “Football won’t be be stained with the blood of Palestinians. The match was suspended.”
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