Argentina forced to replace bus with helicopters as fans swarm streets during parade

Argentina’s triumphant World Cup-winning team were forced to complete their victory parade in Buenos Aires with a helicopter flyover after footage appeared showing a fan diving into their open top bus.

The streets of the capital were packed with enthusiastic fans, with the homecoming of Lionel Messi and company declared a national holiday after a thrilling shoot-out win against France in Qatar.

But the planned journey, reportedly expected to take 50 miles after departing the Argentine Football Federation ground, was halted short of its final point on safety advice.

A helicopter flies over the Obelisk (Matilde Campodonico/AP).

While this may have something to do with the vast number of people crowded into the Obelisk, one of Buenos Aires’ most famous landmarks, a video has surfaced on social media that appeared to capture a security breach as a reveler rappelled from a overpass and dropped onto the open deck occupied by players and staff.

One clip appeared to show one fan landing among the passengers, with a second attempting to follow suit only to fall backwards off the back of the bus and into the crowd.

A statement from AFA president Claudio Tapia indicated that the team were upset at not continuing the journey as planned, rather than fearful of events on the course.

“They don’t let us arrive to greet all the people who were in the Obelisk, the same security agencies that escorted us don’t allow us to go forward,” Tapia said.

Lionel Messi, left, with teammates Angel Di Maria and Nicolas Otamendi (

Lionel Messi, left, with teammates Angel Di Maria and Nicolas Otamendi (Natacha Pisarenko/AP)

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

Benfica midfielder Enzo Fernandez, who had previously posted snaps on Instagram of packed lines of fans cheering as the bus passed, later added a selfie showing him grinning broadly as he rode in the back of the helicopter.

Gabriela Cerruti, a spokesperson for Argentine president Alberto Fernandez, tweeted about the team taking off and called for calm in the party atmosphere.

“The world champions are flying over the entire course by helicopter as it has become impossible to continue on the ground due to the outburst of popular joy,” he wrote.

Fans flooded the streets

Fans swarmed the streets (Gustavo Garello/AP)

“Let’s continue celebrating in peace and show them our love and admiration!”

The AFA had previously urged the public to “calmly move to that area (of the Obelisk) to enjoy this unforgettable moment in peace”.

The numbers, estimated by some to be as high as four million, simply overwhelmed the convoy, led by police officers.

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