February 28, 2018 / 6:02 PM / in 8 months

Argentina to visit Israel for World Cup warm-up

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Twice world champions Argentina play away to Israel in a pre-World Cup friendly international on June 9, the Israel Football Association (IFA)announced on Wednesday.

Football Soccer - Argentina's national soccer team training - World Cup 2018 Qualifiers - Buenos Aires, Argentina - October 3, 2017 - Argentina's players Lionel Messi and Mauro Icardi attend a training session ahead of their match against Peru. REUTERS/Martin Acosta

The venue for the match is still to be set, the IFA said in a statement. Since Israel abandoned the ageing National Stadium in Tel Aviv, major international fixtures have been played either in Haifa or Jerusalem.

Football Soccer - Argentina's national soccer team training - World Cup 2018 Qualifiers - Buenos Aires, Argentina - October 3, 2017 - Argentina's players attend a training session ahead of their match against Peru. REUTERS/Martin Acosta

“Discussions will continue in the coming days to finalise the contractual details for signing,” the statement added.

Argentina have been drawn in World Cup Group D and will open their Russia 2018 campaign against Iceland in Moscow on June 16 followed by a clash with Croatia in Nizhny Novgorod on June 21. They face Nigeria in St Petersburg on June 26.

Argentina have made four previous pre-World Cup stopovers in Israel starting in 1986 when they won 7-2 on their way to lifting the trophy in Mexico. They won on their next two visits in 1990 (2-1) and 1994 (3-0), but lost 2-1 in 1998.

Writing by Ori Lewis; Editing by Ken Ferris

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