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Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli complains about Israel trip before World Cup

Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli says he would have preferred to stay in Barcelona rather than go to Israel to play.

football Updated: May 30, 2018 20:47 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse, Buenos Aires
AFA,Jorge Sampaoli,Argentinian football federation
Jorge Sampaoli is not happy with the scheduling of Argentina matches before the World Cup.(REUTERS)

Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli has complained that his side have to play their final World Cup warm-up match in Israel.

A hat-trick from Lionel Messi gave Argentina an easy 4-0 win over Haiti on Tuesday in Buenos Aires and the squad will fly to Barcelona on Thursday to continue their preparations.

The match in Jerusalem against Israel will be their last before travelling to Russia.

“I’m not the one who decides when we play and who we play,” Sampaoli said after the victory against Haiti at La Bombonera.

Sampaoli stressed he did not want to get drawn into any comment on the tension between Israelis and Palestinians.

READ | We are not going to the World Cup as favourites: Lionel Messi

But he said: “From a sporting point of view, I would have preferred to play in Barcelona. But 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.

“That is the schedule that the AFA (the Argentinian football federation) have given us.”

All 20,000 tickets for the friendly in Jerusalem sold out in 20 minutes, the company handling the sales said.

Argentina, who were the beaten finalists in 2014, play their first World Cup match against Iceland on June 16. They will also face Nigeria and Croatia in Group D.

First Published: May 30, 2018 20:46 IST