Tuesday, May 21, 2024

ARGENTINA | 19-12-2022 15:04

AFA confirms Albiceleste stars will celebrate with fans at Obelisk

Team expected to arrive back in Buenos Aires in the early hours of tomorrow morning; Argentina’s players and staff will leave AFA training ground headquarters at midday Tuesday and head for Obelisk to celebrate with fans; Rumours grow that government will decree national holiday to allow supporters to attend festivities.

The Argentine Football Association (AFA) has confirmed that the nation's World Cup winning stars will celebrate their triumph with fans at the Obelisk in Buenos Aires on Tuesday.

Captain Lionel Messi and his Argentina teammates are guaranteed a warm welcome after their title-winning exploits in Qatar. People flooded the streets in the wake of Sunday’s victory over France, with celebrations at the Obelisk attracting more than a million people, according to preliminary estimates.

On Monday morning, AFA’s official Twitter account confirmed that the players had chosen to organise a celebration at the famous monument in downtown Buenos Aires – the traditional meeting point for sporting festivities – at midday the following day.

"The squad of world champions will leave on Tuesday at noon for the Obelisk to celebrate the world title with the fans. Yes, we are world champions," read the message posted on AFA’s feed.

Midfielder Rodrigo De Paul, one of the leaders of the team, also confirmed the news, quoting the AFA tweet and posting "We'll see you tomorrow!!!!!" on his official Twitter account. 


Arrival to Argentina

The Albiceleste’s players, coaching staff and support staff are due to arrive at Ezeiza International Airport on the outskirts of Buenos Aires in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The plane carrying the delegation departed Doha, Qatar, on Monday before making a stopover in Rome. 

The Aerolíneas Argentinas plane, which has the callsign AR1915, is carrying the entire squad, including stars such as Lionel Messi, Ángel Di María, Julián Álvarez, and the rest of the World Champions. At the time of writing, it was being tracked by more than 10,000 people on the FlightRadar24 website.

Dozens of videos and photos of the players celebrating in the changing room and on the plane with the World Cup trophy have already been shared online, generating wild reactions on social networks. 

The aircraft is due to arrive at Ezeiza sometime after 2.30am, early Tuesday morning.


Security operation

Officials in the national and city governments are drawing up plans to ensure the safety of fans and players. 

Upon arrival at Ezeiza Airport, roads in the vicinity of the international terminal are expected to be shutdown, with only passengers showing valid flight tickets expected to be allowed within the immediate surroundings.

Some journalists reported early Monday that preparations to shut down the Ricchieri Highway were already underway, though the Times was unable to confirm the detail.

The plane will land at a section of the airport reserved for private aircraft. Immigration authorities will board the plane to ensure paperwork is carried out efficiently and comfortably, avoiding the need for the arriving party to utilise a major terminal.

Once the group is ready to depart, they will be driven to AFA’s nearby headquarters via coach, where they will spend the night and rest, in advance of Tuesday’s celebrations.

They are due to leave Ezeiza's headquarters at midday on Tuesday, with the squad expected to arrive at the Obelisk after 2pm.


Casa Rosada visit

As yet there are still no confirmed details about a potential visit by the players to the Casa Rosada, though the Alberto Fernández administration is known to be keen to host the group at government house and have a photograph taken with the world champions.

A proposal from the national government was made to the players on Monday, one that suggested they share a private meeting with President Fernández rather than attend a large public gathering.

It is believed that they were also offered the chance to greet the fans from the Casa Rosada’s famous balcony, though without officials, so as not to “politicise the triumph,” sources told Noticias Argentinas.

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James Grainger

James Grainger

Editor-in-Chief, Buenos Aires Times.


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