JERUSALEM (AP) The Latest on Argentina calling off soccer match with Israel (all times local):
Claudio Tapia, president of the Argentine Football Association, is apologizing for cancelling a friendly match with Israel in Jerusalem, claiming the safety of the players was at stake.
Israels headline-seeking sports minister faced a barrage of criticism after Argentina called off the World Cup warmup because of pro-Palestinian protests.
”What has happened in the last 72 hours, the actions, the threats that have occurred have led us to take the decision not to travel,” said Tapia during a news conference in Barcelona, where the Argentine team is training prior to the start of the World Cup next week.
”(We) apologize. Its nothing against the Israeli community, the Jewish community and I would like everyone to take this decision as a contribution to world peace,” he added.
The head of Israels soccer association says the Palestinians have ”crossed a red line” with the sudden cancellation of a game with Argentinas national team this week.
Ofer Eini blamed Jibril Rajoub, head of the Palestinian Football Federation, on Wednesday for ”doing all he can” to remove Israel from international football.