The Argentine Football Association confirmed that the players’ bus tour of Buenos Aires was abandoned due to security concerns, with the team instead taking helicopters along the parade route.
The World Cup winning players have been evacuated from the open-top bus as the Tour was in progress after a fan jumped on the car as it was being driven under a bridge.
The AFC said, “The players of the Argentine football team ended the celebrations by flying in a helicopter over the crowd of fans gathered in the city.
They made this decision after verifying that they could not continue to advance by bus in the crowd.”
AFC President Claudio Tapia lamented the way the tour ended because they could not receive all the fans the way it was organised.
He said, “They do not allow us to welcome all the people who were in the obelisk. The same security services that accompanied us do not allow us to move forward.”
“A thousand apologies on behalf of all the heroic players. Shame.”
The players were unable to reach the memorial in the center of Obelisco as planned due to the crowd size, estimated by local media at four million.
“The world champions are flying over the entire track with helicopters because it has become impossible to continue on the ground due to the explosion of popular joy,” presidential spokeswoman Gabriela Ceruti wrote on Twitter.
“Let’s continue to celebrate in peace and show them our love and admiration!”
The team had arrived in the early hours of Tuesday at Ezeiza Airport, where thousands had been waiting, despite it being around 3am (6am GMT), holding banners, flags and flares to welcome their heroes back home.
By about midday, millions had already gathered in downtown Buenos Aires, with the main avenues closed for the parade. People carried banners of Lionel Messi and the late icon Diego Maradona, played instruments, or climbed lampposts or bus stops.
The Argentine capital has been in celebratory mode since its dramatic victory over France in Sunday’s final in Qatar, helping to mask the economic woes of the South American country which is grappling with one of the world’s highest rates of inflation.
The victory made the country world champions for the first time since Maradona lifted the trophy in 1986 and their third in total.
The government made Tuesday a national holiday to allow fans to celebrate the victory.
How Argentina’s festivities unfolded so far…
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