Argentina has called off a World Cup warmup match against Israel following protests by pro-Palestinian groups.
Israel accused the Palestinians of "football terror," saying their threats saw Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi and his team abandon what would have been Argentina's final friendly match ahead of the World Cup.
The Palestinians rejected the allegation, saying the Argentinians pulled out of the match as they realized Israel was using their presence for political gain.
The encounter was called off Tuesday after a campaign by the Palestinians following its relocation to Jerusalem.
"We are confronting a football terror from the Palestinian Football Association and its president (Jibril Rajoub)," said Rotem Kamer of the Israel Football Association.
He accused them of threatening players and their families, without providing any evidence.
"We are seeing it as crossing a red line and we cannot accept it," Kamer said, adding an official complaint would be sent to world football's governing body FIFA.
The sold-out game in Jerusalem was hotly opposed by Palestinians, who claim the eastern part of the city, occupied and later annexed by Israel, as the capital of their future state.
It had originally been scheduled to take place the northern Israeli city of Haifa but was moved after pressure from Israel's hardline sports minister, Miri Regev.
Although the stadium that was slated to host the match is in west Jerusalem, Rajoub had complained that it is situated in a neighborhood built on the site of a former Palestinian village destroyed during the war surrounding Israel's creation in 1948. Rajoub has long urged FIFA to expel Israel from the international football federation, citing Israeli travel restrictions on Palestinian soccer players and because Israel maintains teams in West Bank settlements.
Ahead of the game, Rajoub had urged Messi not to take part and called on fans to burn shirts bearing his name if he did.
Speaking on Wednesday, he thanked the Argentinians for the cancellation, saying he hopes they will win the World Cup.
"I think what happened yesterday is a red card from everybody to the Israelis to (get them to) understand that they (only) have a right to organize, or play football within their internationally recognized borders," he said in English, pointing out the final status of Jerusalem is supposed to be the subject of negotiations between the parties.
Rajoub laughed off Israeli threats of action, denying there was any intimidation.
"The Argentinian Football Association canceled the agreement it signed with the Israelis because it reached the conclusion that this match is a political one."
Israeli media said that late Tuesday Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Argentine President Mauricio Macri, with whom he has good relations, in an effort to save the match but that Macri had said he was unable to intervene.
Netanyahu is currently visiting Europe and his office could not immediately confirm the reports.
The Israeli embassy on Tuesday confirmed the cancellation of the international friendly scheduled to be played Saturday at Teddy Kollek Stadium in Jerusalem.
Israeli daily Yisrael Hayom, considered close to Netanyahu, expressed ire at Argentina with its front-page headline, "They surrendered to terrorism: The game against Argentina has been canceled."
Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie told reporters in Washington on the sidelines of the Organization of American States meeting that he believed Argentina's players had been reluctant to travel to Israel for the game.
"As far as I know, the players of the national team were not willing to play the game," Faurie said before confirmation of the game's cancellation.
The Argentina squad practiced on Wednesday morning at FC Barcelona's training ground, just a few hours after the friendly match was called off.
"Argentina is seven days from the World Cup. We want to focus on what is really important and which is before us," a spokesman for the country's football federation told Agence France-Presse (AFP) in Barcelona, where the national team has been training ahead of the start of the tournament in Russia on June 14.
Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli had last week aired misgivings about having to travel to Israel, noting he would have preferred to remain in Barcelona, where the team is holding its pre-World Cup training camp.
"From a sporting point of view, I would have preferred to play in Barcelona," Sampaoli said.
"But that's the way it is, we have to travel on the day before the match, play Israel in Israel and then from there go on to Russia."
"In the end, they've done right thing, and this is behind us," Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain told ESPN. "Health and common sense come first. We felt that it wasn't right to go."
The World Cup kicks off in Russia on June 14, with Messi looking to inspire Argentina to victory, having lost in the final four years ago.
Israel has not qualified for the tournament.
Argentina opens its Group D campaign in Russia against Iceland on June 16. It then plays Croatia on June 21 and Nigeria on June 26. It is unclear whether Argentina will play another warmup, or if it will arrive to Moscow ahead of schedule.
Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war and later annexed the area in a move not recognized by the international community. The Palestinians claim east Jerusalem as the capital of a future state.
The Palestinians have also been outraged by U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and his decision to move the U.S. Embassy to the city.
The Argentine decision may also have been influenced by deadly violence along the Israeli-Gaza border. More than 115 Palestinians have been killed and nearly 3,700 more wounded during near-weekly protests along the Israeli border, according to Palestinian health officials. The vast majority of casualties have been unarmed.
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