A high-ranking French minister confirmed that the abhorrent ridicule of French striker Kylian Mbappe by some Argentine fans in the midst of celebrations that took place in Buenos Aires to welcome the return of the World Cup-winning team should be investigated by FIFA.
During the reception of the Argentine national team upon its return to the country, a group of fans lit the lid of an imitation coffin bearing a picture of Mbappe.
Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez also grabbed a baby with Mbappe’s face on it during the procession of the open-top bus that carried the team’s players through the capital. Pictures of the two incidents were circulated on social media.
Meanwhile, the French Football Federation and an anti-racism association will file legal complaints against individuals who directed racist insults at Mbappe and his teammates on social media after France’s defeat in the World Cup final on penalties.
Asked how he would react to the insults made by Argentine fans on social media, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told radio station Sud that the scenes were “offensive” and asked explicitly whether FIFA should look into the incidents.
Lemerre said: What does FIFA do? Sport means fair play. It shows respect for others as well as for those who have lost.
The Argentine embassy in Paris did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Mbappe, who turned 24 on the day millions took to the streets in the Argentine capital to welcome the heroes led by team captain Lionel Messi, led a daring French comeback by scoring two goals in 90 seconds to push the match into extra time.
He and other players of African descent, who make up the majority of France’s squad, were met with a barrage of racist abuse from a few fans on social media.