ISRAEL ANGRY OVER ARGENTINA CANCELLATION

ISRAEL ANGRY OVER ARGENTINA CANCELLATION

Many Israelis were angry Wednesday after Argentina suddenly cancelled plans to send players to a sporting event.

 

The Israeli national football team and Argentina’s team were to have played Saturday night in Jerusalem. The football match was to take place just days before the start of World Cup championship action in Russia. The cancellation followed protests in support of Palestinian rights. Some Israeli officials accused Argentina’s Lionel Messi and other players of giving in to terrorism.

 

Argentina is one of the most popular national teams among Israelis. Many people were hoping to see Messi, one of the game’s stars, in person. But after intense Palestinian protests, Argentina announced its team would not attend the event. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Argentine President Mauricio Macri and urged him to intervene. But his efforts were unsuccessful.

 

Late Wednesday, Israel’s Sports Ministry said that a “negotiation” about the match was underway, but gave no other details.

 

Israeli defense minister Avigdor Lieberman said, “It’s unfortunate the soccer knights of Argentina did not withstand the pressure of the Israeli-hating inciters.” He added that their “only goal is to harm our basic right to self-defense and bring about the destruction of Israel.”

 

Israeli organizers noted an offer to have the game played in Barcelona instead. But it is not likely that will happen.

 

Source: www.learningenglish.voanews.com

 

editor

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