The Argentine government on Wednesday defended the holding of a huge parade to welcome the soccer team that was recently crowned at the World Cup, despite the fact that the celebration had to be cut short amid chaos at the organization.
After days of sports and public activities, star captain Lionel Messi and a good portion of other national teams dedicated the day to private activities with family and friends.
There was speculation that Rosario, Argentina’s third largest city, would hold its own celebration for Messi, who is a native of that city. But after scenes in Buenos Aires on Tuesday, where millions of people poured into the streets to watch members of the champion team, officials said the players preferred to rest.
Referring to the act’s early conclusion on Tuesday, Security Minister Anibal Fernandez said: “The aim was to protect the players, not because they were going to harm them, but because so many people who want to get close Could end in anything.”
The World Cup and the national team’s success in it brought some respite to the country, amid general conflicts between Argentine politicians. The nation has gone through years of economic hardship and has one of the highest inflation rates in the world.
However, the controversy over the parade reignited some political controversy.
On Tuesday morning, sports leaders announced that the team would tour the capital in an open-top bus from the main offices of the Argentine Football Association (AFA), located on the outskirts of the capital, to the emblematic column in the center, where they usually hold celebrations. Huh.
Fernandez said he had already warned that those plans were a mistake.
“Look at the pictures, put the micro (bus) in the middle and they’ll realize they were supposed to be there and live there for six days,” he said.
President Alberto Fernandez sought to de-emphasize the celebration over the problems.
“If one sees the joy that was on the streets, then the purpose is served,” the president opined.
The original plan called for the bus carrying the football players to travel 74 kilometers (46 mi). But after marching just 12 kilometers in four hours under the scorching sun, it was believed at best that the players boarded helicopters to fly over the city in what the government called an aerial parade.
After the overflight, the helicopters returned to AFA facilities. From there the players left for various destinations. Messi flew to Rosario with teammate Ángel Di María.
At Rosario airport, Messi boarded a helicopter and was flown to his residence in a private area on the outskirts of the city. Various videos on social media show neighbors cheering Messi on his arrival.
Tara agreed to take selfies with many of them.