PICTURE: Messi Names Best Three Goalkeepers He Has Faced

PICTURE: Messi Names Best Three Goalkeepers He Has Faced - Latest football news in Nigeria

Argentina have cancelled their final World Cup warm-up match against Israel scheduled for this Saturday in Jerusalem, striker Gonzalo Higuain said on Tuesday.

"The threats and provocations directed at Lionel Messi, which logically aroused the solidarity of his colleagues and fear of playing the friendly, are no strangers to the daily life of Israel's civilian population whose sporting stars, to put it simply, have been on numerous occasions the targets of violence and attacks".

Local media had reported earlier Tuesday that the game was set to be scrapped, depriving Messi and his team-mates of a final warm-up game before they open their World Cup campaign in Russian Federation.

Although there is nothing official as of yet, Spanish outlet "Ole" are reporting that the friendly will not be held, and Argentina will not travel to Israel. That match, according to multiple reports, has been canceled after growing pressure from pro-Palestinian groups and concerns over player and fan safety at the game.

Rajoub said that Palestinians only began to campaign against the match after Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev made a decision to move it to Jerusalem and "turn it into a political event".

The ambassador of Palestine in Argentina, Husni Abdel Wahed, had expressed his opposition to the friendly.

Jorge Sampaoli's men will face Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria in Group D in Russian Federation and while Messi admitted Argentina - runners-up in 2014 - were below the level of the favourites, he hopes they can deliver at the showpiece tournament.

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"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 Russian Federation".

Palestinians claim the eastern part of Jerusalem, annexed by Israel, as the capital of their future state.

Israel lays claim to the whole Jerusalem al-Quds, but the worldwide community views the city's eastern sector as an occupied territory and Palestinians consider it as the capital of their future state.

The news was met with cheers in Gaza, where at least 120 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces during recent protests.

Rajoub went so far as to ask for fans to burn photos of Lionel Messi and Argentina shirts.

He called the Barcelona forward a "symbol of love and peace", and called on him to not participate in the beautification of "the fascist occupation's image".

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