After an intense campaign by the pro-Palestinian activists and groups calling for a peaceful boycott against Israel, Argentine Football Association (AFA) have canceled their friendly match with Israel, AFA official Hugo Moyano confirmed Tuesday.
Moyano confirmed the suspension of Saturday’s game between Albiceleste and Israel to local media while Argentine newspapers, as well as local sports websites, are claiming the game had already been canceled and that the Argentine Football Association had already notified the Israeli association of this.
"I think it's good that Argentina's game with Israel has been suspended, the right thing was done, it was not worth it, what happens in those places, where so many people are killed, as a human being, this cannot be accepted in any way. The families of the players were suffering from the threats,” Moyano told Radio 10.
During an interview with EFE, the director of the International Department of the Palestinian Football Federation Susan Shalabi said, “Coming to Jerusalem at this time when everyone is angry with what Donald Trump has done (moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to the city) is very serious.”
Media reported that Jorge Sampaoli, coach of Argentina, who was not interested in a game in Israel, complained about it again in the last few days.
Palestinian ambassador to Argentina Husni Abdel Wahed praised the decision, saying, “This game would be like if we celebrated the anniversary of the occupation of Malvinas, this would be an aberration, a show of disregard and open aggression to the sentiments of the Argentine people.”
Argentine Security Minister, Patricia Bullrich showed her support during a press conference just hours before the association made their announcement, saying “you can not mix” a friendly event with the Palestinian conflict.
"The Argentine team can play anywhere in the world, you can not prevent a sports game. It has nothing to do with anything, the Palestinians do not have to be offended. As a State we recognize the Palestinian State, this has nothing to do with where the national team plays,” Bullrich said.
A group of Palestinians protested in Barcelona earlier this week, One demonstrator told Olé, "It is painful to see a team, which has the love and support of so many Palestinian and Arab citizens, participate in the violation of international law."