Category Archives: News

French FA complains about Martinez celebrations | Emery: I’ll speak to him

The French FA has made a complaint against Emiliano Martinez following his antics in the aftermath of Argentina’s World Cup final win over France.

Martinez was a key figure in Argentina’s penalty shootout win over France and has since been spotted carrying a doll with Mbappe’s face taped to it during the victory celebrations in Buenos Aires. He even called for a mock minute’s silence for Mbappe in the dressing room after the final in Qatar

It has led to French FA president Noel Le Graet revealing he has written to his Argentinian counterpart Claudio Tapia, urging the Argentina FA to take action against the World Cup-winning goalkeeper.

“We have launched different procedures,” Le Graet told Ouest-France. “It is very shocking.

“These are boys who have given the best of themselves for the France team to succeed. It is important that we support them.

“I wrote to my counterpart from the Argentine Football Association. I find these excesses abnormal in the context of a sports competition, and I find it difficult to understand.

“It goes too far. Mbappe’s behaviour was exemplary.”

Martinez
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Martinez was a key figure in Argentina’s penalty shootout win

Emery: I’ll speak to Martinez about his WC celebrations

Meanwhile, Unai Emery says he’s so proud of Aston Villa’s World Cup-winning goalkeeper Martinez, but says he’s due a chat with the Argentine about his celebrating.

Martinez has received plenty of criticism for his actions in Qatar despite helping Argentina win their first World Cup since 1986.

“When you have a big emotion, sometimes it’s difficult to control it,” Emery said.

“I will speak to him next week about some of the celebrations but I respect it for now because he’s with his national team.

“When he’s back with us we can speak about it.”

Salt Bae’s World Cup final antics subject of FIFA investigation

FIFA is investigating the circumstances which led to ‘Salt Bae’ gatecrashing Argentina’s World Cup celebrations in Qatar on Sunday.

The celebrity restaurant owner, whose real name is Nusret Gokce, was seen on the pitch after the final trying to take selfies with Argentina players, including Lionel Messi, and holding the World Cup.

FIFA has told Sky Sports News his access to the pitch was unauthorised and its rules state that only the World Cup winners and heads of state are allowed to touch the trophy during the closing ceremony.

A spokesperson for FIFA said: “Following a review, FIFA has been establishing how individuals gained undue access to the pitch after the closing ceremony at Lusail stadium on 18 December. The appropriate internal action will be taken.”

It is understood that Salt Bae has no involvement with FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who has previously been pictured visiting one of his restaurants. It is also believed there is no commercial relationship between FIFA and Salt Bae.

Salt Bae was one of Infantino’s 303 Instagram followers at 6pm on Thursday, but as of 7.15pm on Thursday has been unfollowed.

The Turkish celebrity chef has become known by the pseudonym Salt Bae since rising to fame on social media for his unique style of seasoning steaks.

Now a host to the stars at his restaurants, Salt Bae’s presence among the celebrating Argentina players caused a storm on social media with the new world champions appearing to be apathetic to his involvement.

Messi was pictured appearing to try to get away after the celebrity chef grabbed his arm, while Lisandro Martinez looked less than delighted to be pictured alongside him holding the World Cup trophy.

A compilation video on Twitter of nonplussed players alongside Gokce has racked up more than 14 million views since it was posted on Monday afternoon.

Millions watch Argentina World Cup winners snub ‘Salt Bae’ after final

Turkish butcher turned internet meme ‘Salt Bae’ was everywhere after Argentina won the World Cup – but now the players’ indifference towards him has gone viral too.

Nusret Gokce has been known by the pseudonym since a video of him pouring salt down his arm over a steak at one of his first restaurants went viral in 2017.

His presence on the pitch at the Lusail Stadium after Argentina’s first World Cup win in 36 years was quickly picked up by social media – especially for the new world champions’ seemingly apathetic reactions to his presence.

Lionel Messi was pictured appearing to try to get away after the Turkish celebrity grabbed his arm, while Lisandro Martinez looked less than delighted to be pictured alongside him holding the World Cup trophy.

A compilation video on Twitter of non-plussed players alongside Gokce has racked up more than 14 million views since it was posted on Monday afternoon.

Gokce posed for photographs on the pitch holding the trophy on his own – something which is against FIFA rules.

“The original Fifa World Cup Trophy can only be touched and held by a very select group of people, which includes former winners of the Fifa World Cup and heads of state,” says FIFA on its own website.

Salt Bae had already played a part in earlier controversy during the World Cup. Brazil’s players were criticised for grandiose celebrations when they visited his Doha restaurant after beating Switzerland in the group stages.

His relationship with FIFA president Gianni Infantino appears to date back several years, with the pair featuring in a 2019 video where he endorsed his Dubai restaurant.

France president Emmanuel Macron – another friend of Infantino – was also seen on the pitch attempting to console Kylian Mbappe after the full-time whistle, leading to similar criticism.

Argentina WC parade abandoned after security concerns | Fan jumps on team bus

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The Argentina squad were forced to abandon their open-top bus for a helicopter after a member of the crowd managed to get onto the vehicle during their victory parade.

The Argentinian FA confirmed the victorious players’ bus tour of Buenos Aires was abandoned due to security concerns on Monday, with the squad instead taking helicopters along the parade route.

The World Cup-winning players were evacuated from the open-top bus as the tour was progressing after a fan jumped onto the vehicle as it drove under a bridge.

The AFA said: “The players of the Argentine soccer team ended the festivities by flying over in a helicopter over the crowd of fans who gathered in the city.

“They made that decision after verifying that they could not continue advancing by bus in the middle of the crowd.”

Argentina WC parade abandoned after security concerns | Fan jumps on team bus

The Argentinian FA has confirmed the players bus tour of Buenos Aires has been abandoned due to security concerns, with the squad instead taking helicopters along the parade route.

The World Cup-winning players were evacuated from the open-top bus as the tour was progressing after a fan jumped onto the vehicle as it drove under a bridge.

The AFA said: “The players of the Argentine soccer team ended the festivities by flying over in a helicopter over the crowd of fans who gathered in the city.

“They made that decision after verifying that they could not continue advancing by bus in the middle of the crowd.”

The AFA president Claudio Tapia lamented the way the tour ended because they were unable to greet all the fans in the way it had been organised.

“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,” he said.

“A thousand apologies on behalf of all the champion players. A shame.”

The players were unable to reach the central Obelisco monument as planned because of the crowd size, estimated by local media at four million people.

“The world champions are flying over the entire route in helicopters because it became impossible to continue on land due to the explosion of popular joy,” presidential spokeswoman Gabriela Cerruti 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, despite it being around 3am (6am GMT), thousands were waiting with banners, flags and flares to welcome home their heroes.

By around midday, millions had already congregated in downtown Buenos Aires, with major roads closed for the parade. People held up banners of Lionel Messi and late icon Diego Maradona, played instruments or climbed lampposts or bus stops.

The Argentine capital has been in party mode since the dramatic victory over France in Sunday’s final in Qatar, which has helped mask economic woes in the South American nation battling one of the world’s highest inflation rates.

The victory made the country world champions for the first time since Maradona lifted the trophy in 1986 and the third in total.

The government made Tuesday a national holiday to allow fans to celebrate the win.

How Argentina’s celebrations have unfolded so far…

But Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria, Nicolas Otamendi and their teammates were soon transferred to helicopters due to security concerns
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But Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria, Nicolas Otamendi and their teammates were soon transferred to helicopters due to security concerns

Fans even went all the way to the top of the Obelisk monument to catch a glimpse of the Argentina bus parade
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Fans even went all the way to the top of the Obelisk monument to catch a glimpse of the Argentina bus parade…

Argentina fans took up a number of vantage points for the intended bus parade through Buenos Aires...
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Argentina fans took up a number of vantage points for the intended bus parade through Buenos Aires…

The Argentina bus parade snaked slowly through the nation's capital for much of the day...
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The Argentina bus parade snaked slowly through the nation’s capital for much of the day…

Argentina, World Cup
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On Tuesday, an estimated four million fans packed the streets of Buenos Aires to see Argentina’s official bus parade…

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Several Argentine stars have shared footage on social media of the open top bus parade in Buenos Aires, as they celebrated winning the World Cup for the first time in 36 years…

Argentina players were met by thousands of fans as their bus travelled from the airport
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Argentina players were met by thousands of fans as their bus travelled from the airport…

Argentina players were met by thousands of fans in Buenos Aires
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Argentina players were met by thousands of fans in Buenos Aires…

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Tens of thousands of fans came out to greet the Argentina squad, despite the early hour…

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World Cup winners Argentina then touched down on home soil to a heroes’ welcome in Buenos Aires early on Tuesday morning…

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And this is how Argentina fans celebrated their World Cup win back at home…

Lionel Messi lifts the World Cup trophy after Argentina's win
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It all began on Sunday evening as Lionel Messi led Argentina to the World Cup title, beating France…