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Regev claims vindication over nixed soccer match with Argentina

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Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev, beneath hearth over the cancellation of a soccer match between the Israeli and Argentinian nationwide groups, claimed vindication Wednesday after FIFA launched disciplinary proceedings in opposition to Palestinian Football Association head Jibril Rajoub for alleged incitement.

Regev had blamed threats from “terrorists” for spooking the Argentinians and resulting in them pulling out of the match, which was to have been held final Saturday evening. However, commentators, officers and others have pointed to Regev’s insistence on holding the sport within the capital and making it into a nationalist showcase that led to and elevated unease in regards to the match among the many Argentinean squad and, finally, a profitable Palestinian stress marketing campaign.

Standing on the Knesset podium, Regev stated that FIFA’s determination to analyze Rajoub for incitement backed up her model of occasions.

The Israel Football Association final week filed a criticism in opposition to Rajoub and the Palestinian Football Association over Rajoub’s conduct forward of the match, which included requires posters and jerseys of star Lionel Messi to be burned, in addition to a menace to thwart Argentina’s bid to host the World Cup in 2030.

Regev denied there was any connection between the cancellation and the truth that the sport was moved from Haifa, the place it was initially slated to happen, to Jerusalem.

Labor MK Nachman Shai challenged the minister, saying her determination to maneuver the match had itself politicized the occasion.

Regev lashed out at Shai, saying there was by no means any settlement to carry the sport in Haifa.

MK Nachman Shai seen on the Knesset in Jerusalem, on June 20, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

She additionally berated Shai and the opposite opposition MKs, evaluating them to the Hamas terror group.

“Instead of saying, ‘We’ve had enough of mixing politics and sport,’ you give support to Rajoub,” she mentioned. “Hamas was also quick to congratulate the Argentina team [for cancelling the match]. There is no doubt that the left has chosen good friends.”

Regev additionally mentioned the opposition was harming Jerusalem, not like the United States, which understood town’s significance.

Her declare that Haifa was by no means an possibility was contradicted by Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie, who mentioned final week that his ministry was involved when the match was transferred from the northern metropolis to Jerusalem.

“The Foreign Ministry did not intervene in the organization of the match,” Faurie advised Argentine radio station Mitre. “We were not the ones who decided the venue or who made the decision to transfer the game from Haifa to Jerusalem.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whereas stopping in need of blaming Regev, certainly one of his closest allies, mentioned final week that it was she who needed the match moved to the capital.

“I didn’t request or ask that the game be moved to Jerusalem. I don’t know the efforts that were made. Miri Regev asked, but didn’t demand, for the game to be moved to Jerusalem,” he mentioned.

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