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Jorge Sampaoli: I’d Rather Play in Barcelona than Israel

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The Argentina coach said that from a sporting point of view, he’d rather not play in Israel

Argentina v Haiti - International Friendly Photo by Gabriel Rossi/Getty Images

Argentina’s manager, Jorge Sampaoli, has expressed disappointment at having to play in Israel, rather than at the Camp Nou. “From a sporting point of view,” he said, “I would have preferred to play in Barcelona.”

However, Sampaoli did not make any comment about the political situation, instead simply saying “that’s the way it is, we have to travel on the day before the match, play Israel in Israel and then from there go on to Russia.”

Pro-Palestinian groups had urged Argentina not to play the match.

Meanwhile, reports in Israel say that the tickets sold out within 20 minutes due to Lionel Messi’s popularity.