Sinn Fein calls for IFA to cancel Israel match

Sinn Fein has called on the IFA to cancel a Northern Ireland friendly game against Israel in September.

The call comes the day after Argentina announced they would not be playing Israel in Jerusalem this Saturday, following pressure from Palestinian football officials and international campaign groups.

Northern Ireland players after the final whistle in the last friendly match against Costa Rica on June 3

Northern Ireland players after the final whistle in the last friendly match against Costa Rica on June 3

A spokesman for the Israeli embassy in Argentina said the Argentinian decision was brought about by “threats and provocations” against Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi.

Israel’s defence minister Avigdor Lieberman tweeted: “It’s a shame that Argentina’s footballing nobility did not withstand the pressure from Israeli-hating inciters.”

Sinn Fein MLA Sinead Ennis met with IFA officials on Wednesday and asked the association to “reconsider” the friendly international match on September 11 in Belfast.

“I made this call on the back of the recent massacre of over 100 demonstrators and the maiming of thousands more by the Israeli army,” she said.

“Sinn Féin support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel under which cultural, academic and sporting links fall.

“The international community should be standing up to the Israeli state for the indiscriminate slaughter and ongoing discrimination against Palestinians,” Ms Ennis added.