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June 18, 2018

Los Angeles Times Errs on Argentina Cancellation

A June 15 Los Angeles Times sports article (online here, "Lionel Messi needs a World Cup while Iceland is just happy to be playing in one"), Kevin Baxter errs about the Argentinian team's cancellation of the game against Israel in Jerusalem:

First the Argentines were routed 6-1 by Spain, then starting goalkeeper Sergio Romero was sidelined because of an injury and then on their way to Russia they caused an international incident by stopping in Jerusalem to play Israel in a friendly.

That didn’t get a friendly greeting from the Palestinians, so the Argentine soccer association canceled the game.

The team never "stopped" in Jerusalem. The trip itself -- not just the game -- was canceled following Palestinian threats to the team. Moreover, the euphemistic statement that the Argentinians "didn't get a friendly greeting from the Palestinians" covers up the fact that players and their families received death threats which the Argentine foreign minister termed "worse than ISIS" ("Argentine soccer team cancels match in Israel amid death threats against Messi").

Significantly, FIFA has begun proceedings against the Palestinian Football Association chief. AFP reported June 14 ("FIFA says acting over Palestinian FA chief's Messi comment"):

FIFA said Thursday it has started disciplinary proceedings against the Palestinian Football Association's chief, after he called for protest against Lionel Messi and his plan to play with Argentina in Jerusalem.

"The FIFA disciplinary committee has opened disciplinary proceedings against the president of the Palestinian Football Association, Jibril Rajoub," a spokesman for the world body said in a statement to AFP.

Its decision, he wrote, "came as a result of his statements, widely reported in the media, with respect to the international friendly match that was scheduled to take place on 9 June 2018 between Israel and Argentina."

He said he could not elaborate while the proceedings were ongoing.

Rajoub had demanded that the Barcelona star not take part in the pre-World Cup friendly against Israel and called on fans to burn shirts bearing his name if he did.

Messi, Rajoub said at a June 3 press conference, "has tens of millions of fans in the Arab and Muslim countries... we ask everyone to burn their shirts which bear his name and posters (with his image)."

CAMERA has contacted The Los Angeles Times to request a correction. Stay tuned for an update.

See also: "CAMERA Prompts Washington Post Correction On Canceled Jerusalem Soccer Match"

June 21 Update: Stealth Correction

The Los Angeles Times has issued a stealth correction to the online article, quietly changing the false reference to the Argentinians "stopping in Jerusalem" to "planning a trip to Jerusalem." Contrary to standard journalistic practice, The Los Angeles Times has not informed readers of the change. Also, as of this writing, the article was not corrected in print. Finally, the article still does not explain that the Palestinian's less than "friendly greeting" included death threats.

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Posted by TS at June 18, 2018 02:04 AM

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