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Argentina senior national team, the Albiceleste. Credit: CONMEBOL

The Palestine football chief, Jibril Rajoub, has welcomed the cancellation of a tune-up for the 2018 Fifa World Cup between Argentina and Israel scheduled to hold on Saturday.

The game was called off due to political tension in Jerusalem.

The build-up would have been the former world champions’ last before their opening game against Croatia on 16 June.

It was learned that Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, called Argentine President, Mauricio Macri, to ask him to persuade the team not to cancel the game.

Rajoub had earlier called on fans to burn pictures of Argentina star Lionel Messi if he plays against Israel in Jerusalem.

The Palestine football chief also urged the fans to burn replicas of Messi’s shirt.

And following the cancellation, he said, “We thank Argentina’s players, led by star Messi, for refusing to be used to serve a non-sporting goal.

“Values, morals and sport have secured a victory today and a red card was raised at Israel through the cancellation of the game.”