The friendly World Cup warm-up soccer match scheduled for Saturday in Jerusalem was called off by the Argentine FA over Palestinian threats to the Argentine club’s players and their families. The world-famous star and striker Lionel Messi was specifically targeted.
Excitement in Israel for the event, Argentina’s final warm up match before the World Cup in Russia, which begins next week, was high, with tickets selling out in minutes. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called Argentine president Mauricio Macri with an appeal to reverse the decision, but Macri said he had no control over the team’s decisions. Palestinian leaders and anti-Israel boycott groups hailed the decision as a great victory.