Argentina cancels Israel friendly after threats to Messi

Photo by Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Argentina has reportedly canceled its friendly versus Israel in Jerusalem this weekend as political protests contributed to an air of hostility around the match.

Palestinian supporters were angry that the match was set to be played at Teddy Stadium, which they say was built on a destroyed Palestinian village.

Palestine Football Association leader Jibril Rajoub had called upon Messi not to play in the match, Argentina’s final friendly before the World Cup in Russia.

Rajoub also called upon fans to burn Lionel Messi jerseys and pictures of the player if he took the field on Saturday. Threats were made against the team and star player Messi, as well.

Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain said of the cancelation, “They finally did the right thing.”

The Albiceleste begins its tournament June 16 against Iceland.