Israel-ALSHARQIYA July 16: The president of the Israeli club Beitar Al-Quds announced, on Thursday, the cancellation of a friendly match against Barcelona, Spain, on August 4, due to the position of the Catalan club, which refused to play in Jerusalem.
"I am obliged to cancel the match against Barcelona," Moshe Hogeg said in a statement on Facebook, revealing that the reason was due to the latter's refusal to play in Jerusalem for "political reasons."
He continued, "I bought Beitar out of love for the holy capital, and if I give up playing in Jerusalem for political reasons, it will not be in line with my principles."
Hogeg indicated that Barcelona agreed to hold the meeting in Tel Aviv only, and not in Jerusalem, which constitutes one of the major flashpoints of tension in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
But sources inside the Spanish club told AFP that "Barcelona is studying different options every summer to play friendly matches, but as long as the club has not announced them, they are not confirmed and therefore will not be held."
The Palestinian Football Association condemned the holding of this meeting in Jerusalem, according to the Palestinian news agency "Wafa".
The match was scheduled to take place at Teddy Stadium in the western part of the city.