Lionel Messi Poses With Actual Goats For PAPER Mag Cover

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The movement said the Argentinian team had responded to "creative campaigning" denouncing what it called Israel's "sports-washing of its crimes against Palestinians".

Argentina's friendly match versus Israel is reportedly canceled. "We still hope that Messi will not come".

But with Palestinians increasingly resorting to boycott campaigns to maintain global pressure on Israel over the occupation, the match against Israel could change who they support.

The pair were due to meet on Saturday in Jerusalem as Argentina ready themselves for the tournament in Russian Federation.

Responding to the news, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel said it welcomed Argentina's decision to cancel.

The 28-year-old Manchester United defender, who has over 50 caps to his name, told Inside United hopefully Argentina would perform better than they did in sneaking through in qualifying.

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The cancellation means Argentina will not play another friendly match before their opening World Cup tie against Iceland on 16 June.

He said, "Values, morality and the message of sports have triumphed today and the red card was raised in the face of Israel by cancelling this game".

"We thank all liberals among sport people and all those who stood by us to demand the cancellation of the match between Argentina and the occupation in Jerusalem".

No reason was given, but the Israeli embassy put it down to "threats and provocations" made against Lionel Messi, Argentina's star striker.

The stadium which was to host the match is in west Jerusalem.

The status of Jerusalem is highly sensitive.

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Argentina's foreign minister, Jorge Faurie, suggested some of its players "were not willing to play the game" - without specifying why.

"This match has become a political tool", Rajoub said in Arabic. The settlements are deemed illegal under worldwide law.

Argentina's Lionel Messi and teammates celebrate at the end of the match.

As excitement spreads ahead of the World Cup, Khalil, the Palestinian player, has been left to lament what could have been.

The game would have come shortly after multiple protests and violence in Jerusalem after United States President Donald Trump moved the US embassy to the capital - which is claimed by both Israel and Palestine.

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