Palestinian Soccer Chief Urges Lionel Messi to Boycott Israel

Argentina's Lionel Messi takes part during a team training session at the Sports Center FC Barcelona Joan Gamper, in Sant Joan Despi, Spain, Friday, June 1, 2018. Israel will play against Argentina next 9 June in a friendly soccer match. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
AP/Manu Fernandez

(AP) — The head of the Palestinian football federation is calling on Arab and Muslim sports fans to burn photos and T-shirts of Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi if he attends a friendly match between Argentina and Israel next weekend.

Jibril Rajoub made the call after a demonstration in front of the Argentinian representative office in Ramallah, where he asked Argentina to cancel the match.

The match is scheduled to be played Saturday at an Israeli soccer stadium in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Malha.

“Messi. Don’t come. Don’t whitewash the face of racism,” Rajoub said.

Israel’s football federation says Messi is expected to play at next week’s match.

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