Jerusalem football game between Beitar and Barcelona ′canceled′ | News | DW | 15.07.2021

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Jerusalem football game between Beitar and Barcelona 'canceled'

According to the Israeli club, Barcelona did not want to play the match in Jerusalem, prompting Beitar's managers to call off the game.

A gathering of fans draped in the Israeli flag and the colors of Beitar football club

Beitar football club says it is refusing to give in to a political demand

Beitar Jerusalem Football Club says it has called off a friendly game with Barcelona over the Spanish teams' apparent unwillingness to play the football match in Jerusalem.

The club's owner Moshe Hogeg said he was forced to cancel an August 4 fixture because he did not want to give in to what he saw as a political demand. However, the friendly match had yet to be officially confirmed by either club despite multiple reports about the plans in recent weeks.

Both Palestinians and Israelis consider Jerusalem to be their capital. In 2017, then-US president Donald Trump's formal recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital caused clashes in the city and raised tensions between the US and its allies. Commenting on Barcelona's alleged stance, Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion told the Israeli Army Radio that teams who "boycott" Jerusalem should not be allowed in the country.

No word from Barcelona as yet

As yet there has been no immediate statement released by Barcelona, which had never committed to the fixture publicly.

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Earlier this month, the club had received a letter from the Palestinian Football Association, expressing concern over the reported proposal.

Other football clubs had also written to the Spanish football side calling for the game not to take place.

kb/dj (dpa, AP)

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