An Israeli football team said on Thursday it has called off a friendly match with Barcelona after the Spanish team declined to play in Jerusalem, a city that Palestinians want part of as their capital.

Beitar Jerusalem FC, an Israeli Premier League club, had previously reached a tentative deal to host Barcelona on August 4, a person familiar with the planning told Reuters, although neither club had formally announced the match.

Beitar owner Moshe Hogeg said in a statement he had decided not to sign the contract on the match because “I understood that the price I would have to pay is to boycott Jerusalem … to lend a hand to those who come out against Jerusalem”.

A Beitar spokesman said FC Barcelona had asked that the game be played in a city other than Jerusalem, whose eastern sector Israel captured in a 1967 Middle East war and annexed as its capital in a move not recognised…

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