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SPORTS | 23-12-2022 09:27

French minister brands Argentina 'vulgar and inelegant winners'

French Sports Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra accuses Argentina's footballers of being "inelegant winners" and "vulgar" for mocking her country's star Kylian Mbappé on their victory parade.

French Sports Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra on Friday accused Argentina's footballers of being "inelegant winners" and "vulgar" for mocking her country's star Kylian Mbappé on their victory parade after winning the World Cup final.

"As much as our French team knew how to lose with panache, so the manner in which this Argentine team acted after this victory was not worthy of the match we saw," the minister told French radio station RTL.  

Oudéa-Castéra singled out goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez, who was seen in the victory parade in Buenos Aires holding a baby doll its face covered with a photo of French star Mbappé.

Immediately after the match had been heard in the Argentina changing room demanding: "A minute of silence... for Mbappé."

The French forward scored a hat-trick as his side twice fought back to take the game to a shoot-out and then beat Martínez with the opening spot kick.

"I find it pitiful," said Oudéa-Castéra.

"It's just vulgar, inappropriate, really not up to the occasion," she said "This Emiliano Martínez is not distinguishing himself.  It is rather pathetic." 

The minister said she was pleased that the president of the French Football Federation (FFF) Noël Le Graët had written to his Argentine counterpart, head of the Argentine Football Association (AFA) Claudio 'Chiqui' Tapia to complain of "abnormal excesses"in the celebrations. 

"I have written a letter to my counterpart at the Argentine federation, I find these excesses abnormal in the context of a sporting competition and I find them hard to understand. They go too far. Mbappé's behaviour was exemplary," said Le Graët in an interview published on the Ouest-France newspaper's website.

Also asked about the matter in an interview with Sud radio station, French economy minister Bruno Le Maire deemed the attitude of the Argentine players "undignified."

"What is FIFA doing? Sport is fair-play, it's about respecting others, respecting those who have lost, not adding insult to disappointment," he said.

The FFF has also said it intends to file complaints against French fans who posted racist comments on social media after Kingsley Coman and Aurélien Tchouaméni missed in the shoot-out and Kolo Muani squandered a chance late in extra time.

 

– TIMES/AFP

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