Israel’s Culture Minister rejected claims that her own actions led to the cancellation of the Israel-Argentina match, instead claiming her critics from the left ‘back terrorism.’

Miri Regev

Miri Regev Photo credit: Hadas Porush, Flash 90

Israel’s Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev on Wednesday accused left-wing lawmakers of supporting terrorism in response to their criticism of her over the events that led to the cancellation of a friendly soccer match between Israel and Argentina.

In a statement following the cancellation, Regev dismissed claims that the game was cancelled due to her attempts to make political gain from it by insisting that it be moved from Haifa to Jerusalem. “The Argentinians never objected to holding the game in Jerusalem,” she said. “The decision stemmed from one reason only – the threats made by terror groups on (Argentina’s star player Lionel) Messi and his family.”

She added that efforts should be made to “prevent terrorism and threats on athletes to become a dangerous phenomenon that could threaten sports internationally.”

Addressing opposition members who blamed her for the cancellation, Regev said, “I don’t understand what you’re all so happy about. If there was a world championship in gloating, you probably would win it. You are backing terrorism.”