As Argentina’s World cup team triumphantly entered Buenos Aires, the capital o uf Argentina, the city fell into caconous celebrations that were aggravated by the country’s World Cup goal keeper Emiliano Martinez who held an effigy capped with Mbappe’s head image.
FIFA has come under pressure from French officials to investigate ill-mannered celebrations at the expense of Kylian Mbappe during Argentina’s World Cup homecoming. Emiliano Martinez was at the centre of viral mockery of the France forward after last Sunday’s thrilling final triumph.
Argentina lifted their third World Cup in Qatar after a penalty shoot-out victory followed an enthralling 3-3 draw in which France fought back from two goals down and equalised twice. And millions of natives lined the streets of Buenos Aires to welcome their heroes home earlier this week.
Some celebrations were more extreme than others, with Mbappe unsurprisingly the target of mass abuse after becoming only the second player after Sir Geoff Hurst to score a World Cup final hat-trick. One section of fans set alight a makeshift coffin lid bearing a cross and an image of Mbappe. Meanwhile, Martinez held a toy baby with Mbappe’s face stuck on it during the open-top bus parade.
French finance minister Bruno Le Maire has called on FIFA to investigate the ‘undignified’ mockery of Mbappe and Les Bleus. He told Sud Radio: “What is FIFA doing? Sport is about fair play. It’s showing respect for others. It’s showing respect for those who lost.”
SOS Racisme and the French Football Federation have also filed legal complaints against those who aimed racist abuse at Mbappe and other France players on social media after their defeat at the Lusail Stadium. “It is the expression of a far-right ideology that says that these people should not be considered French,” SOS Racisme’s secretary general said.
The anti-racism association has sent over 100 screenshots of racist comments in a criminal complaint. The majority of France’s squad are of African descent, with Kingsley Coman and Aurelien Tchouameni two of the players who have been abused after missing their penalties in the shoot-out.
Argentina’s players had to abandon their bus parade after being unable to reach the central Obelisco monument as planned due to the sheer number of people roaming the streets of the nation’s capital. Security concerns intensified after a fan jumped from an overhead bridge onto the top deck of the bus.
A second fan followed suit but avoided disaster after nearly falling onto Lionel Messi, missing the bus and cascading into the crowd below. Lionel Scaloni and his squad were forced to continue their celebrations in helicopters, flying above those waiting at the monument.
Many a sports enthusiasts feel that being a senior player, Martinez shouldn’t have fallen prey to the over joyous fan’s display of clownish celebrations for the deserving accolade that had eluded the country since 1986.