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Gaza riots won’t prevent Messi’s Argentinian soccer team from playing in Israel

The possible nixing of a friendly soccer match between the Israeli national team, led by Tel Ben Haim, and the Argentinian national team, headed by Lionel Messi, has been averted.

Lionel Messi (center) seen surrounded by press and security, as he and the FC Barcelona team arrive at the Western Wall in Jerusalem on Aug. 4, 2013. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90.
Lionel Messi (center) seen surrounded by press and security, as he and the FC Barcelona team arrive at the Western Wall in Jerusalem on Aug. 4, 2013. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90.

The possible nixing of a friendly soccer match between the Israeli national team, led by Tel Ben Haim, and the Argentinian national team, headed by Lionel Messi, has been averted, according to a report in Hebrew media on Wednesday.

Organizers of the last practice before the World Cup were considering cancelling the trip due to security concerns fueled by Palestinian violence in Gaza, according to the Ynet news website, but the June 9 game will go on as scheduled. A final decision about whether it will be played in Jerusalem or will be moved to Haifa is expected on Friday.

Argentinean President Mauricio Macri is scheduled to arrive in Israel to attend.

Following the match, the Argentinian team will fly directly to Russia to participate in the World Cup.

The announcement is seen as a blow to the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which tried to pressure Messi’s team to cancel the match.

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