Fact-check: Did Lionel Messi refuse to play Israel over 'innocent children' deaths? Unfounded

: Argentina star Lionel Messi is quoted as refusing to play against "people who kill innocent Palestinian children" following the cancellation of a friendly match between Argentina and Israel.

Published: 07th June 2018 08:17 PM  |   Last Updated: 07th June 2018 08:35 PM   |  A+A-

Argentina superstar Lionel Messi (File | AP)

By AFP

PARIS: Argentina star Lionel Messi is quoted as refusing to play against "people who kill innocent Palestinian children" following the cancellation of a friendly match between Argentina and Israel. There is no evidence he made this statement.

WHAT ARE WE ARE VERIFYING?

Messi is widely quoted as telling Argentina sports channel TyC Sports: "As a UNICEF ambassador, I cannot play against people who kill innocent Palestinian children. We had to cancel the game because we are humans before we are footballers." 

WHAT DO WE KNOW

The quote widely shared on social media followed the decision by Argentina on Wednesday to cancel their World Cup warm-up match against Israel in Jerusalem on Saturday following pressure from the Palestinians.

However, TyC Sports reporter Martin Arevalo, who is in Barcelona where Argentina are preparing for the World Cup, said his channel had never spoken to Messi.

"What you are writing is false. Messi has not spoken to the media and not with TyC Sports on this subject. Be accurate. During his preparations for the World Cup, Messi is not talking to the press," he said in a widely shared tweet late Wednesday.

Messi, the five-time world player of the year, is not known for courting controversy or issuing political statements. As a UNICEF ambassador and global star anything he says is carefully vetted by his PR team and he has carefully steered clear of divisive issues.

WHAT CONCLUSION CAN BE DRAWN?

There is no evidence that Messi ever made this statement.

Stay up to date on all the latest Football news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments(1)

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

  • Messi

    Excellent Messi
    15 days ago reply