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Israel to file FIFA protest against Palestinians over Argentina game

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Ofer Eini, President of the Israeli Football Association (IFA), and Rotem Kamer (R), CEO of the Israeli football Association, take part in a press conference on June 6, 2018, in the Israeli town of Ramat Gan, east of Tel Aviv, to announce that the IFA will file a formal complaint to FIFA, against the Palestinian Football Association, following the cancellation of the game between the Israeli and Argentina. Rotem Kamer, vice-president of the Israeli Football Association, accused the Palestinian FA of “football terror” after its leader called for protests against Argentina in the build up to the game, which had been scheduled for Saturday. / AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ

The Israel Football Association announced Wednesday it will file a complaint to FIFA accusing its Palestinian counterpart of pressuring Argentinian players and staff into cancelling a friendly match.

Rotem Kamer, vice-president of the Israeli FA, accused the Palestinian side of “football terror” after its leader called for protests against Argentina in the build-up to the game that had been scheduled for Saturday.

“We are confronting a football terror from the Palestinian Football Association and its president (Jibril Rajoub),” he said, accusing them of “threatening football players (against) coming to Israel.”

He also alleged the families of players were threatened, without providing any evidence.

“We are seeing it as crossing a red line and we cannot accept it.”

“We are going to send an official complaint to (world football’s governing body) FIFA and the disciplinary committee to take action.”

The game, which was due to take place in the disputed city of Jerusalem, was cancelled Tuesday after a campaign led by the Palestinian Football Association.

Rajoub had urged Argentina’s star player Lionel Messi not to take part and called on fans to burn shirts bearing his name if he did.

Earlier Wednesday Rajoub laughed off Israeli threats, denying there was any intimidation.

“The Argentinian Football Association cancelled the agreement it signed with the Israelis because it reached the conclusion that this match is a political one.”


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