AFA president Claudio TAPIA: “The decision was made not to travel to Israel”


The Argentine Football Association President Claudio TAPIA has just called for a press conference to address matters with regards to cancelling the friendly against Israel. He has confirmed that the decision made due to issues surrounding the player’s safety.

It appears that Jorge SAMPAOLI and the rest of the coaching staff was also against the idea of travelling to Israel for the friendly. Also, it has been confirmed that there will be no other warm-up matches for Argentina before the World Cup.


  1. This is not good for us we will not play the one friendly more. We have many fantastic players, enough to have great team but as far I didn’t saw the team. After disaster against Spain and bagatelle against Haiti we should play one more friendly against medium level team. To play spar against U-20 kids is not the same as against opponent who will prepare tactic especially against your players. To play against domesticated boys from training ground is not the same as leaving the comfort zone of training camp and have the makeshift of preparing for WC game.

    We have so many outstanding players but they need more and more time on the pitch together. Sampaoli didn’t even have time to test starting line up option with Pavon instead Di Maria, Ansaldi instead Salvio, Meza in central midfield and Aguero instead Higuain.

    Let’s face it – the friendly would be good for us. See almost all the WC teams play 2 friendlies before WC and often against better opponents than Haiti.

    Once again -we have many great players but we need a team (in last firendlies I didn’t saw the team) and chemistry. If Sampaoli will somehow able within the short time to make the monolit team of the individuals we may go far if not – every oponent on the road may beat us.

  2. As an Israeli I have to say that although I’m heartbroken over the missed opportunity to watch the NT (I went out of my way to score tickets to the game), it was without a doubt the right decision to cancel the match. The Israeli government went out of it’s way to harness the game to their propaganda machine, and it’s about time someone showed them there are limits to what they can do. It’s not only about standing up to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians (although it’s extremely important, and I hope the cancellation is the 1st step towards change in that regard), but it’s also about not letting the NT become a circus show. The weeks before the world cup should be sacred and fully dedicated for preparations, and forcing the team to make a detour less than a week before the tournament starts in order to take part in a politically ridden affair was an idiotic idea from the start, and I can only thank “my” sports and culture minister for doing everything in her power to fully expose the political aspects of the entire endeavor. And by the way, I don’t know what the public opinion in Argentina is right now, but I think Claudio Tapia should resign for getting into this all thing to begin with. Money can be made in many different ways, and sacrificing the precious time Sampaoli has with the players before the world cup out of greed is nothing short of betrayal.

    • On Tapia I think the issue is that for Argentina it’s always going to get paid more to play in someone else’s country. I think Israel may have been a good deal but was originally advertised for Barcelona, the Haifa then was switched to Jerusalem.

      Not sure if they got incremental revenue for each change (but would think they must have). Also I think tapia may have made that deal (to play in Jerusalem before it was public) prior to the violence and embassy etc. Of course onc that happened the deal was inked and he could turn back.

      I’m just gossiping no facts here but I think his intent at first was too recreate 86 for the players prior to wc so wasn’t completely mis guided, but in the end lesson learned for any international club who maybe wasn’t educated, Jersusalem is not a place to have any game.

      I think his intent was good but he got played by the Israeli government on the venue changes, surely the Israeli government knew for months Trump would change the embassy.

      The other issue is that afa has had such bad leadership that the next person could be significantly worse! So take the bad with the good.

      If this team wins the world cup they’ll all be afa executives in 20 years they’ll never forget.

  3. According to reports on the same day when the friendly were scheduled Argentina will play a game against u20 side just for practice it’s not friendly but they will play a 90 minutes match for practice.i hope the reports are true.

      • Yes its far better to play a game even if it is only u20 side.far better than not playing any friendly whatsoever.and I believe Argentina u20 side is better technically than Malta.sanmarino etc

        • Agreed. But an official friendly with sanmarino/malta/moldova would have given a chance to test the final combination though incurring an injury was a possibility.

    • Rather than u20 it’s better to play Sub 11 (remaining players apart from the starting line-up); If some position is missed like CB they can include one from u20; Then all the players will get a chance to play;
      Ansaldi U20 CB Fazio Acuna
      Masche Lo Celso/Banega
      Salvio Dybala Pavon

  4. It has to do with the players safety and peace of mind during the world cup than to show solidarity with palestinians, bigots always try to connect things which doesn’t fit . No right minded people support the idea of a palestine or Jerusalem being it’s capital. Scripture and History is against it.

    • Yup the team and especially Messi was literally emotionally harassed and publicly threatened out of the game. Anyways, the team has to get over it now. Despite the hostility they faced the last few days, there is a chance it brought them together as a group.

  5. Belgium will be a very solid team this time around. Whoever who thinks that (if both qualify first in their groups) brazil will easily defeat this team in the quarters is wrong. Their midfield and wingbacks are their strength not to mention their solid centrebacks. On their day they could definitely knock this brazilian team out of the cup over 90 mins.

    • vimal Belgium are the most overrated team in NT football. Apart from De Bruyne, Kompany who play for Man City with a world class manager… the rest of the team play in England and the English league is so weakened. It’s not the same where CL finalists were always English back in the 70s-90s. Teams like Leicester can win it now?

      You’re mixing Belgium with (names) out of form players, players like Hazard who’s good but invisible against bigger clubs. There’s a reason why Belgium get knocked out every single time at the same stage but everyone keeps believing. European football is at it’s weakest especially when the current champions are Portugal who didn’t win a single game. There is a South American winner this WC.

  6. can anybody have statistics…. our 23 players scored and assist goals… in the 2017/18 like messi 45+ aguero 30+… otamendi…6+…. then compare to other top teams….

  7. roy please transalate… dybala gave the interview on tyc sports…. and cabellero yesterday…… i have seen video on youtube… but i dont know what they are saying…. i am visiting this site over 200 times each day… to see somthing…

  8. If Argentina played that cursed game against The Mighty Israel, the team’s reputation will be trashed heading to the world cup with low morale from all the insults and accusations in media around the world. It was very wise from the Federation and the team to deny their offered millions, the headache of travel, the consequences of such affair and mostly risking the lives of all who are involved.

    Some bloggers here are too green, or should I say too young to comprehend such events, it’s beyond their experiences and cognitive abilities that develop with age. So an advise to bloggers: Don’t be like that guy !

  9. This is to Dontbethatguy: You rambled: “A positive result against israel in Jerusalem would be MUCH more motivating than against Haita at La Bombonera” “but I understand fearing for the players safety”.

    Well, first of all, The players and the entire AFA refused to play this game to show solidarity with the Palestinian’s people and all the protests happened in Argentina and Spain. You were celebrating this game from the get go chanting that the team will play in Jerusalem and get the Jews honour (you insulted The Palestinians in another blog). It’s not important to go to the world cup without a warm up match, or even if we lose the cup as a result considering the team will be remembered in history books denying to share the Israeli 70th Invasion Anniversary. You know how awesome that is for a sports team? Argentina is praised globally for having the balls to say no to Israeli’s mischievous scheme.

    Second: it’s not just about the safety of players, they are in Spain and protected by solid security system, it’s about the innocent people including kids who were killed in recent events and made the entire world condemn the Israeli act. Messi and co. know that they have millions of fans in all Arab countries which is nothing comparing to few thousands of pretending fans from Israel. You probably don’t know how many countries between Asia and Africa make up the big Arabian country and how many fans are there chant for Argentina team. I get it you are ignorant, so now shut the fuck up and deal with it, the team responded quickly to the voice of Arab Nations and other supportive bodies; hence cancelled your dream game against your Mighty Israel. You care more about the team getting another warm up match more than anything else while the team themselves show support to the disadvantaged nations. Game is over and you should get over it too, mother fucker, A protector to the EVil Kingdom.

  10. Interesting how every pundit and expert expects us to meet Spain in the quarters and favors them to win, obviously because of the friendly.

    I say if we meet them we have a big chance to win and reach the semifinals.

    It will be the perfect dream come true if we manage to beat Germany in the semis and Brazil in the final.

  11. Good decision. But everyone needs to remember they organized the friendly in the first place.

    IMO playing the sparrings or 11v11 is better than playing Israel or Malta or Lithuania or whatever. There’s absolutely no travel and more practice time which this team desperately needs.

  12. I hope the players watched Schwartzman take it to Nadal, AKA the king of clay at the Paris Open today.
    The game has been suspended and will continue tomorrow and I hope the 5 foot NOTHING kid beats him and even if he doesn’t, they’ll at least learn to play with heart on every single play.

  13. Great! Now we go into the World Cup against giants like Spain, Brazil, Germany, France having a team filled with new players who don’t have a clear understanding yet and played a friendly with the world class Haiti… ranked 108 place in FIFA (although those rankings say Belgium is 3rd, Portugal 4th, and Spain 8th😆). While all the major countries are having competitive friendlies, Argentina do not. A positive result against israel in Jerusalem would be MUCH more motivating than against Haita at La Bombonera. Everyone expected at least a 7-0 in that game, but settled for just 4… while Brazil put 7 last them in the Copa America. In Israel, Spain just managed a 1-0 result, would’ve been positive to get a 3-0 or 4-0 result in Israel, but I understand fearing for the players safety. We’ll just need Messi to carry Argentina again this WC as far as he can… hopefully that means all the way.

    • You realize playing against the young Sparring players in the preparation camp @ Barca is a 1000 times better than a shit team like Israel right? The Argentine youth teams can beat Israel any day, plus there is no travel fatigue, no risk of injury, etc. That game only made sense for AFA $$$ and genocidal legitimacy.

    • Do you really think that that game would increase the team confidence? Come on it s poor team they should plane for an African team at least anyway.
      Don t worry about argentina team they just have to be focus on their way and everything will be fine hope lio will be on his days during the whole competition and the most important thing above all the players have to be more helpful to him not as they do in the last final against chili

    • Exactly, big setback for a team already plagued with incoherency and lack of understanding. Argentina is the only team which does not have a known starting XI going in to WC. Just because there is one of a lifetime player, they are still in with some shot.
      The problem is missing out on playing a match and not about whether the match suits Islam or Israel. Most fans in the blog are surprisingly nonchalant about the implications of the setback.

      • That’s what I’m saying! NOBODY knows what the 11 will be. Obviously not even Sampaoli knows since he’s making so many different formations. This friendly is a big hit. Don’t forget Haiti has never qualified for a World Cup yet israel has. We need COMPETITIVE playing time, not against 20 year olds… at least if you played the new guys then yea, it’s fine to play against young sparring players, but having Di Maria, Aguero, Messi against those players, it’s an unfair advantage, who benefits from that? NOBODY!!!! Against Israel they would at least put up more fin a challenge. And if the Argentina youth team is so good, why did they get knocked out if they 2016 Olympics so early then? All the big nations are ready and just fine tuning things hehre and there, while Argentina, still trying to find their identity… with 8 days to go! Trouble!

  14. Good man……they played one and it’s not like one more was going to make the team more or less prepared.
    No worries about injuries or anything else.

    They should have planned it better but failed miserably by the selection itself and again by not having a plan B… reason to cry over spilled milk.

    BIG thumbs up for Tapia.

    • I can say this much. ARGENTINA will go into the world cup knowing that it’s not an easy group from the get go, unlike the last time around when teams simply parked 2 buses and a plane on the pitch and the only answer they had, NONE until Messi saved them.

    • Dfox1942 I think having another game would have been good and let Dybala play 45 minutes in this new system. One of the countries that only finished the other day where the players haven’t barely started their holiday is Norway, wish we could convince them.

      Nigeria looking really weak.

      • I agree, but skipping that friendly was a no brainer.
        ARGENTINA is already under a giant microscope, been the case for what seems like forever now, drawing a huge bullseye on their backs before going into the biggest sporting event in the world and one that they desperately want to win wont better their chances.
        They go fresh without the risk of injury.

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