French Sports Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera on Friday accused Argentina players of being “inelegant winners” and “vulgar” for mocking her country’s star Kylian Mbappe 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.
Oudea-Castera singled out goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, who was seen in the victory parade in Buenos Aires holding a baby doll, its face covered with a photo of French star Mbappe.
Immediately after the match, a call for “a minute of silence… for Mbappe,” was heard from the Argentina changing room.
Mbappe scored a hat-trick as France twice fought back to take the game to a penalty shootout and then beat Martinez with the opening spot kick.
“I find it pitiful,” said Oudea-Castera.
“It’s just vulgar, inappropriate, really not up to the occasion,” she said.
“This Emiliano Martinez is not distinguishing himself. It is rather pathetic”.
The minister said she was pleased that the president of the French Football Federation (FFF) Noel Le Graet had written to his Argentine counterpart to complain of “abnormal excesses” in the celebrations.
The FFF has also said it intends to file complaints against French fans who posted racist comments on social media after Kingsley Coman and Aurelien Tchouameni missed in the shootout and Kolo Muani squandered a chance late in extra time.