PSG and Argentina superstar Lionel Messi (center) and his national team teammates

Argentina national soccer team's Israel friendly match falls through

Despite organizers' best attempts and fans' high anticipation, Lionel Messi and co. will not arrive in Israel to play against local national team after talks collapse due to economic reasons

Gidi Lipkin |
Published: 05.22.22, 22:46
Argentina's national soccer team and superstar Lionel Messi will not arrive in Israel for their scheduled friendly match against the local national team after negotiations between the parties fell through on Sunday.
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  • The axing of the match comes after another Argentina game against Australia was also canceled, leaving the Albiceleste with little reason to hold the June 6 date at Haifa's Sammy Ofer Stadium due to economic reasons as organizers struggled to close a gap of a few hundred thousand dollars.
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    PSG and Argentina superstar Lionel Messi (center) and his national team teammates
    PSG and Argentina superstar Lionel Messi (center) and his national team teammates
    PSG and Argentina superstar Lionel Messi (center) and his national team teammates
    (Photo: Itzik Belenitzki)
    The match was expected to bring in $2.5 million, with the Argentines set to pocket $1.5 million of that sum.
    Israel was originally expected to play against Russia on that date as part of matchday 2 of the UEFA Nations League tournament, but the match was scrapped after the Russian national team was booted off all official competitions due to Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.
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    Israel national soccer team
    Israel national soccer team
    Israel national soccer team
    (Photo: Shahar Gross)
    Meanwhile, the continental soccer association — which owned the broadcast rights for Israel's original match against Russia — demanded its share of the profits from the Argentina friendly, which also played a key part in the collapse of the talks.
    The Albiceleste last played in Israel in 2019 in a friendly match against Uruguay where Paris Saint-Germain Messi (then of Barcelona) scored a late penalty in a 2-2 stalemate against the South American neighbors.
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