Soccer Shorts: Argentina cancel Israel game due to Messi fear

Argentina cancel Israel game due to Messi fear

BUENOS AIRES • Argentina's scheduled friendly game with Israel in Jerusalem on Saturday has been cancelled, the Israeli embassy confirmed on Tuesday, citing unspecified threats against Argentina and Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi.

This followed protests by Palestinian football authorities, who had urged Messi not to take part. Palestinians claim the eastern part of Jerusalem, annexed by Israel, as the capital of their future state.

The Palestinian Football Association welcomed the scrapping of the game, insisting sport should not "be a tool for politicians and for political extortion".


Goalkeeper feigns injury to let team break fast

TUNIS• Players for World Cup-bound Tunisia broke their Ramadan fast during two warm-up matches after the goalkeeper feigned injury, coach Nabil Maaloul told AFP.

Maaloul told Mouez Hassen to go down "injured" as the sun went down, with Fifa rules specifying that any injury to a goalkeeper necessitates a stop to the game.

As Hassen was being treated, the rest of the players ran to the sidelines to break their fast with a few dates and water.


Ukraine tells citizens not to go to Russia

KIEV • Ukraine has urged its citizens to refrain from travelling to Russia for the World Cup starting next week, as thousands of Ukrainians plan to travel across the border to watch the tournament even though their nation failed to qualify.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Ukrainian foreign ministry warned its nationals of a "serious" risk to their safety, pointing to Kremlin propaganda inciting "anti-Ukrainian sentiments".


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 07, 2018, with the headline 'Soccer Shorts'. Print Edition | Subscribe