Poor security planning led the World Champions to celebrate from the skies of Argentina on Tuesday
An estimated 4 million people flooded the streets of Buenos Aires, forcing Lionel Messi and the Argentina squad to ditch their team’s open-top bus to instead fly over the city in helicopters.
Superstar Messi and his teammates initially traveled on an open-top bus waving at crowing fans on the sides of the highways, who were frantic to greet the World Cup champions.
After Argentina dethroned France on penalties to win its first World Cup title in 36 years, the country declared a national holiday for the celebrations.
Videos on social media witnessed several fans risking their lives to get near the dignitaries. One fan dropped from a bridge onto the team bus missing the vehicle and falling into the crowd.
Chiqui Tapia, the President of the Argentina Football Association, tweeted an apology to fans citing blame on security organisers.
“They don’t let us get to greet all the people who were at the Obelisk, the same Security agencies that escorted us, don’t allow us to move forward. A thousand apologies on behalf of all the Champion players. A pity,” Tapia wrote on his social media pages.
The South American nation holds a population of 46 million, with many criticising the planned route of the team bus leading to the airlift.
Gabriela Cerruti, the Presidental spokeswoman, called the celebrations “impossible to measure,” verifying that the team had to celebrate from the skies of Argentina.
“Almost five million people on the streets, a crowd impossible to measure, managing with love and serenity as a happy people called to a collective ceremony knows how to do,” Cerruti tweeted.
The Buenos Aires Times communicated on its local coverage that an estimated number of 31 people were injured during the festivities in the city.
Additionally, 13 arrests were made, including four involved in clashes with security forces at Obelisk, the national historical monument of the country.
At his personal residence, a video aired showing Messi attempting to enter his house but was jammed by thousands of fans.
The Argentina talisman eventually entered his home with the aid of police, allowing him to enjoy the historic victory privately.