Palestinian children request Messi to not play friendly in Jerusalem

June 5, 2018

Palestinian children have requested star Argentinian footballer Lionel Messi to not play the international friendly against Israel at Jerusalem.

The children, in an open letter to the Argentinian player, said that they will be extremely disappointed if he plays in the occupied territory.

“Jerusalem’s football is constructed on the graves of Palestinians,” protesters said.

Palestine Football Association chief Jibril Rajoub urged fans on Sunday to burn pictures of Argentina striker Lionel Messi and replicas of his shirt if he plays against Israel in Jerusalem next weekend.

Twice world champions Argentina will play at Jerusalem’s Teddy Kollek Stadium on Saturday night in a World Cup warm-up match that has attracted huge interest among the Israeli fans, mainly because of Messi’s planned participation.

On Sunday, Rajoub declared a campaign against Argentina and particularly Messi, noting he has millions of fans across the Arab and Islamic world, Asia and Africa.

“He’s a big symbol so we are going to target him personally and we call on all to burn his picture and his shirt and to abandon him. We still hope that Messi will not come,” he told reporters

A small group of youths wearing Palestine soccer scarves demonstrated outside the representation office and attempted to set fire to an Argentinian flag.

Rajoub has long tried to get soccer’s world governing body, FIFA, and the International Olympic Committee to impose sanctions against Israel.

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