Tel Aviv, June 7 (IANS) The Israel Football Association (IFA) said it had not received an official cancellation of the upcoming Israel-Argentina friendly, noting that it intended to issue a formal complaint to the global governing body, FIFA.
IFA president Ofer Eini said at a press conference in Tel Aviv that his association asked Argentina to clarify the rumours circulating since Tuesday night about the cancellation of the friendly in Jerusalem, scheduled for Saturday, but no response had yet been received, reports Efe.
Eini on Wednesday reiterated that the IFA has contacted FIFA and will present a formal complaint about the matter.
For his part, the head of the Argentine Football Association, Claudio Tapia, said the cancellation was motivated by threats received by the South American team.
Tapia apologised to all Argentines living in Israel and all Israelis who bought tickets to watch the match.
The president of the Palestinian Football Association, Jibril Rajoub, accused Israel of trying to use superstar Lionel Messi and the Argentinian national team as political tools when the friendly’s venue was changed from the Israeli coastal city of Haifa to the contested and occupied city of Jerusalem.
Palestinians consider East Jerusalem, which was occupied by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War and annexed in 1980, to be the capital of their future state.